Few things install fear into people like going for an interview for a job. The uncertainty of a job interview is one that can make you very nervous. There has been stories of people passing out from the nervousness of an interview. Rather it be the dream job you are going for or a lateral move in your career, all interviews come with a high level of pressure. Remembering these few helpful hints which me and my colleagues have discussed in detail hopefully will help you with that.
Let’s begin by telling you exactly what a hiring manager is trying to accomplish through an interview. Each interview is trying to evaluate the following
1. How skilled you are and how you applied these talents on a job
2. Your accomplishments and if they are on par with what accomplishments the hiring manager feels should have been accomplished
3. How you would fit with the environment and culture of the company.
4. Level of drive
5. Your potential for improvements.
Of course these five aren’t all weighed with the same importance depending on who is doing the interview. Most technological companies might put more emphasis on technical brilliance since company culture may not be as important because some will work remotely and never meet their coworkers. Some other companies will value a candidate’s first impression more and will hire off a gut feeling more often. Knowing what is being looked for is very helpful when going into an interview.
The most common mistake in an interview is the interviewees showing up far too early and upsetting the hiring manager. I’m sure you think showing up for your 1030 interview at 945 is at worst a good move if not a great one, but that is not accurate. At times hiring managers will take a candidate showing up for an interview very early as a sign of disrespect for their schedule because now they must juggle appointments around to accommodate you. Five to ten minutes early is an ideal time to come for your interview. Leave your house with enough time to account for traffic and sit in your car in front of the destination is usually the best option.
Talk in complete paragraphs not broken sentences
Ideally you want to answer each question for two to three minutes to any question. Short answers, regardless of the job you are interviewing can be the reason you do not get the job, hiring managers will feel you are being difficult and rude. Let your answers tell a story, start with a general opening remark, prove this remark as correct then give some examples to show why you decided to lead with that general opening statement. Then, to take control of the interview you want to end your answer with a question such as “is this the kind of situation or skill that I will be responsible for here?” Remember that an interview is nothing more than a conversation and if you show yourself to be easy to talk to, you’re putting your best foot forward in an interview. A candidate isn’t usually judged on how well they do on their jobs, references do that. Candidates are judged by how well they can describe how to do their job.
Read your own body language
Most if not all hiring managers believe they are mind readers through body language. Knowing not only what you are verbally speaking but what your body is saying is vital in an interview. Stand up straight, lean forward in your chair, make eye contact, allow an ample amount of space between you and the interviewer are just some of the body language rules to follow. Leaning slightly forward in your chair shows a level of excitement in the prospective job and what the hiring manager is telling you. Some signs such as rubbing your neck when answering questions can make hiring managers believe that you are lying to them and trying to come up with your words as you are going. Having a stern understanding of body language is very important when going into an interview for a job.
Do your research
Be prepared for your interview, research the company you are interviewing with. When a candidate has not done any homework on a company it shows easily, and makes hiring managers feel as if you are only interested in pay and will leave whenever another opportunity rises, which can make the next person get your job. You can separate yourself as a serious candidate by doing ten minutes of research on the company before an interview so that you can ask questions and answer any questions with more knowledge and sound complete answers. When the hiring manager ask “what can you bring to this company” you can show how much research you have done and answer this question with something more concrete than the weak “I will do a good job”. Doing research can be the difference in ending your job search or going on another interview somewhere else.
Ask for contact information
Assume that you are not the only person interviewing for a job and that the hiring manager will conduct more interviews. The best way to keep yourself in hiring managers mind is asking for contact information like a business card. When you get home from the interview send an email stating how nice it was meeting with the hiring manager and thanking him for taking time to speak to you. reiterate that you are excited about this opportunity and still want to move forward with the position. You would be shocked at how many times something as small as this gesture will put one candidate as the front-runner over others.
Of course there are other tips for interviews depending on the industry and position you are interviewing for. For any specific questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer them in future posts. Good luck on your upcoming interviews.