Congratulations! So perhaps you followed the 12 tips on writing a winning resumé and you now have an appointment for a meeting…an interview…Yay!
An interview is essentially a sales call – so you sell yourself first (who you are) and your product second (what you do – your skills, ability and experience).
So here’s my 13 tips for a winning job interview.
- Do your homework. You will already have researched the company as part of your writing your winning resumé. Now research the person (or people) you will be speaking with. Check them out on Linkedin. Check their network and significant other people in the company.
- Prepare three sentences to describe why the company should hire you. Prepare three questions you want to ask about the company.
- Ensure good personal hygiene. Go easy on cologne and make-up. Wear appropriate dress (having researched the dress code).
- Arrive 10½ minutes early.
More likely than not you will speak first with a receptionist. Make friends fast, but don’t overdo it – this is not speed-dating. If you get the chance, ask them about the company and what it’s like to work there. You might be surprised what you can learn.
Don’t sit down in reception. Standing is more active and allows you to respond quickly when your host arrives. For the same reason, don’t accept an offer of a beverage and don’t read a newspaper or magazine that might be available. Observe. What do you see, hear, feel, smell?
When your host arrives, shake hands firmly. No pain should be involved here. Dry and warm hands are better than cold and clammy. Look them in the eye and smile.
Build rapport. Keep eye contact, but do not stare. Mirror their body language, but not too much. We like people who behave the same way we do, but we don’t like copycats.
A job interview is a two-way street. Make sure this is a place you would like to work and ask questions. Be assertive.
Don’t monopolize the conversation. The person on the other side of the table might let you keep on talking to see where you’ll end up. They may be a seasoned interviewer and them letting you talk is not the same as interest in what you are saying. Check an answer if you’re not sure: “Does that answer your question OK?”
Talk about how you feel about the role and the interview process. Are you enthusiastic? Are you positive? Are you happy with the way the conversation is going? Show it. Tell your face. Tell the person on the other side of the table.
Wrap up at the end. Say where you are at – happy, sad, disappointed, eager…? If this job ain’t for you and you like the company, ask whether there are other openings available. Close on a positive note – always.
Be yourself. Be authentic. Be genuine. Have some fun.
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Photo credit: ATOS International via Flickr