So, you’ve got that all-important interview call. You are set with all your certificates and internship experiences ready to face the interview panel.
But did you know, none of your qualifications or certificates will have any effect if you are not able to excite your interviewer with the first impressions of yourself?
Disappointed? Probably. But that’s the real truth. If your interviewer is put off by your behaviour, he is unlikely to shortlist you when it comes to final selection. This, I am speaking from my experience of interviewing people for my team.
I have come across experienced and highly-qualified people whom I had to turn away. The reason? Often I found many of them with attitudes. I realised that with such persons in my team, I will be unsettling my team members who are simple and hard-working.
That’s the case with any team. And it’s not just attitude, you can put off your interviewer with many other issues like not preparing well for the interview, not enough understanding of the company you have applied for, boasting about your credentials etc. We shall discuss here in detail such issues and how to impress your interviewer.
When walking into a room, whether it is with 1 person or 10, you need to shake everyone’s hand and look each person in the eye when introducing yourself. if you have a hard time with names, it is always a good idea to say that person’s name back to them.
Research: Do your research well. Find out as much info on the company you are interviewing at, and the person who will be interviewing you, that you can. Do this online. All companies have a history and it is a benefit to know a little about it.
Knowing the organisations beginning groundwork will help you to see how the company came about. It gives you an idea of how far the company has come from its initial set up. Usually an interviewer will ask you some sort of questions pertaining to this. You want to come off as well researched.
If you really want to impress the interviewer and make a good mark with the company, be able to talk about recent company accomplishments that were publicised in press releases, and be aware of hot topics in the industry.
Punctuality: You also should take the time to get directions to the interview, and also to figure how long it will take to get there so you can leave on time. Make sure that you arrive about 10 minutes early.
That way, you will not stress about being late, and you will have a minute to put yourself together once you arrive. Being punctual is a skill that most employers require in a worker.
Dress: Be sure to dress professionally. This is critical for any interview. You should choose to be overdressed, if you aren’t sure how dressy to go. Also be sure to groom hair, nails, and teeth. Girls should pair, either a button down shirt or dressy blouse with slack or a skirt.
In order to e taken seriously and be considered a professional, you must dress the part. Some advise performing a dress rehearsal. Grab a friend and answer questions that you could be asked (while dressed the part of course!). You need to have a good demeanour as well, since employers gauge your emotional state too.
Past Company: Don’t talk about negative things though. This is not the time to complain about previous employers, go on about what you didn’t like about past jobs, or ask about overtime pay.
Accomplishment: Sometimes in an interview you’ll be asked about a skill you don’t have. Don’t let this panic you. Just tell the interviewer that you are able to learn quickly and are confident you can get up to speed in a timely manner, or tell about similar skills you already have.
Ask right questions: If you come to the interview, be prepared to ask questions about the position and the company, this is a good thing. You want the employer to see that you are enthusiastic about the job, and intending to work in the industry.
Carry copies of your certificates, resume: Nothing looks worse to the employer than being unprepared. If you are not prepared for the interview then who knows what is in store for the future? You always want to bring in extra copies of everything that you have given the employer before.
Even if the employer doesn’t ask for one, it is good to have one on you. Sometimes if in a rush, the interviewer will have misplaced their copy and this way you can impress them. They will not have to run back to their office or rummage through the drawers. You have a copy ready to hand them, because you came prepared.
Bring a pad-folio, or simply a professional looking notebook and pen, with a fresh copy of your resume. It show that you are prepared, ready to take notes, and want to learn about your interviewer and the company as well as share information about yourself.
Some Practical Tips: Practise your handshakes. No one wants their wrist broken, or a dead fish in their hand. Your handshake should be firm and confident, but not over zealous.
Remember to maintain eye contact with your interviewer. This simple gesture shows that you are listening carefully and being respectful.
Make sure to smile. Smiling will not only reassure you, but it will also show your interviewer (within that first one-tenth of second) that you are a fun person, who they would love to work with.
You can also impress your interviewer by asking the right questions. It’s no longer enough to be qualified. If you want a job in today’s business environment, you have to shine, and there’s no better way to show your excellence than by asking excellent questions.
Don’t sqander the opportunity to shine by asking mudane questions the interviewer has heard before. Your goal is to make a statement in the form of a question.
Questions are the best way to demonstrate that you understand the company’s challenges, emphasis how you can help the company meet and show your interest in the most unmistakable manner possible – by actually asking for the position.
Here are some general, but most memorable questions candidates can ask:
1. What exactly does this company value the most, and how do you think my work for you will further these values?
2. What kind of processes are in place to help me work collaboratively?
3. What is the most important thing I can accomplish in the first 60 days?
4. Can you give me some examples of the most and least desirable aspects of the company’s culture?
5. Will I be mentored?
6. How will you judge my success?
Use these questions as prototypes for questions based on the particulars of the position you are interviewing for. Make them your own and polish them until their shine reflects on you.
Asking questions like these is not for the faint of heart, but then again, neither is succeeding in today’s hyper-competitive job market.
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