Once you land an interview, things can only go uphill from there. It’s a different story once you enter the interview. The steps for doing well in an interview have to do with more than having appropriate etiquette. You can go through the motions but hiring managers have a trained eye for catching things that may seem slightly off.
It’s hard to get over losing out on turning the perfect job interview into the perfect job offer. People often rack their brains over and over fore where they went wrong. Interviewees make mistakes all the time and many of them still get hired. Nevertheless, an interview that went badly rarely has a positive outcome. You can avoid becoming a distraught job seeker with these seven simple tips:
1) Impression is everything.
You already know that making a good impression on the interviewer is key if you want to stand a chance for a call back or job offer. But how you ask? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. Much of it does have to do, however, with your likability. Impressing the interviewer has nothing to do with being able to brag about your resume. You want them to see you as an individual with something to offer. Tell yourself you are the complete package and then show them how.
2) Think twice about every word.
Starting off the interview by saying you want the job is a bad idea. The fact that you’re in a job interview is obvious enough that you want a job but don’t say that this is the one you want. Firstly, you’re making a premature commitment before considering all the terms and details. Secondly, you don’t know if after the interview you will still want the job. Thinking through everything you say before vocalizing it will keep you from wishing you could take something back.
3) Ask meaningful questions.
Don’t ask questions with the sole intention of impressing the interviewer. The questions you ask should be relevant to your work style and pertain to whether you would be a good fit for the position. Ask things like, who would you work with, who you would report to, etc. Interviews are two-way conversations, and the more natural-feeling they are the better. Don’t be afraid to ask several questions.
4) Equip yourself with a secret weapon.
Hiring managers interview so many people on a regular basis that it’s hard to remember every single person that came through their doors. This is why you need to prepare a sort of clincher that will hook the interviewer. This could be a memorable item of clothing (still interview appropriate, of course), a funny story, a shared interest, or something unique about yourself. Use this to trademark yourself like how a character from a show will use a catchphrase to be remembered by.
5) Have your most valuable work attributes memorized.
By being able to list off what you can contribute to the company, it shows that there isn’t a shadow of a doubt that you know what you’re worth. After researching a company and learning about their needs and goals, think about which of your skills can benefit them. Share what you’ve done in the past that makes you particularly ideal for the position. Interviewers will be able to judge your compatibility with the job responsibilities.
6) Play down your shortcomings.
You may not have everything they’ve ever wanted and more in a job candidate but don’t let that keep you from being an ideal one. If they ask if you have experience in a certain area that you don’t, just be honest. Avoid saying anything with negative words like “can’t,” or “don’t.” If there’s something you’re missing, present something else to them that may balance things out.
7) Solidify your meeting with the proper follow up.
The right follow up can be just what was needed to seal the deal. Handwritten notes are personal and have a bigger impact on the recipient. It’s also a good way to show the interviewer that you were attentive during your conversation and took it to heart. Leave a personal touch that shows gratitude for the opportunity. The right kind of last impression has potential to make up for a so-so first one.