Interview Tips And Tricks
We will explore in this blog post the top tips and tricks to review prior to the interview. It includes the common etiquette to follow and how to sell yourself during the interview.
Etiquette to Follow
- Don’t play with your chair while waiting to be called.
- Don’t say something you’ll regret later. Think before you speak.
- Don’t be afraid to be confident. Set your mind to why you are the best candidate for the job. If you truly feel that way, it’s likely you’ll pass the sentiment on to your interviewer. ∙ If the venue is far from your place of residence, stop in the washroom when you arrive to reset your hair, tie, etc.
- Don’t munch on junk food while waiting for the interview. You wouldn’t want to offer a crumb covered or sticky hand to the interviewer.
- When you are introduced to the panel of interviewers, shake hands firmly with each person, create eye contact with each person & say that you are pleased to meet them, and smile as you say so.
- Your preparation for the job interview should be taken seriously. The competition against another candidate with a better qualification is fierce. Preparation helps you keep what’s in your mind, and not slip it when you’re in a most uncomfortable position. An interview is the key before a company hires you, so you better discover how to sell yourself before meeting with the prospective employer.
- Start preparing for the interview well before the interview day. Thorough preparation is a prerequisite to success in any interview. Ideally, start preparing about a month before the interview. If that isn’t possible, start preparing as soon as you are able.
- As you are about to enter the interview room take 2 or 3 deep breaths to calm your nerves. You will do better if you are relaxed and have a calm mind.
Selling Yourself in a Job Interview
Be the solution.
Companies hire on vacant positions only. In other words, when a company feels they cannot work efficiently with their current staff, they announce positions they feel they need to fill. In this way, you are the need of the business as well as the interviewer. Let him feel as you are the person he needs. For this, identify their problems which they are currently facing and give a brief solution regarding those problems. This will tell them you can solve these problems very effectively. Also, if you have any past experience on solving such problems, do share with them and also what were the consequences of that solution.
In an interview try to be as much specific as you can. Don’t try to be over smart as you can do everything in your field. As no one is perfect and knows everything. But act like a wise person that although you have higher knowledge in your field but also you still learn every day. Another important thing is that you can’t work with any team you are provided with because there is variety of person having different mind capacity. Some are easy to work with and some are very difficult to bear them. Hence don’t say you work well with others instead tell your past experience about your team, what kind of team you had worked with and what tasks you.
Tell your portfolio.
Be brief and specific while telling your portfolio. Show them the work you have done in the past. Like for example, if you had made a logo for any firm or a website, show them or give layout of that and also tell some unique features that you made in it.
Prepare to Talk About Your Resume.
Resume and Cover Letter makes a brief outline of your capabilities you have. Interviewer scans the resume deeply when it is properly prepared and briefed. He asks frequent questions regarding the past experiences mentioned in the resume although they are mentioned. In this way, he wants to know, either you know what you have written in your resume or not. Give some detail on each questioned asked by the interviewer.
Don’t complain about your past employer to the interviewer or give him any blame. If your manager was not competent, even then, don’t tell him straight away. Tell him you want to work in a more challenging environment. Also, be positive that you are the most eligible person for this post. You can benefit the organization when you hold position. Hence, sell yourself the way the marketer sells his products.
Avoiding Interview Mistakes
Candidate arrogance is a common complaint among interviewers. Candidates too often cross over from confidence to arrogance. There is a fine distinction between the two. Confident people relate to interviewers as equals, while arrogant people are condescending, giving the impression they think they’re above other people, either socially or otherwise. Be especially careful about arrogance when you’re interviewing with someone younger than you or if you’re interviewing for positions that are a step or two down from your last role.
Examples of unsuitable interviewing behavior include acting disinterested, answering your cell phone, relentless eye contact, not meeting the interviewer’s gaze, talking incessantly and being too familiar. Interviewers have certain expectations about how you should act. These expectations fall in line with the rules of common courtesy. Being polite, businesslike, friendly, attentive and appropriate will stand you in good stead.
The Failure to Listen
There are few things more disconcerting to an interviewer than a candidate whose responses aren’t on point or one who constantly asks to have questions repeated. Stay engaged in the give and take of the conversation. Ask clarifying questions when you need to. Give answers that are on point. Lean slightly forward. Maintain appropriate eye contact. These behaviors indicate you’re actively listening.
Generally speaking, blue jeans and flip flops are not appropriate dress for an interview. Neither is very short skirts or low cut blouses, but, a three-piece suit may not be appropriate, either. What is appropriate depends upon the open position. What you wear when interviewing for a banking position will differ from what’s appropriate when interviewing to be an assistant for an up-and
coming fashion designer. A general rule of thumb is to dress as you would when working in that job.
Bashing Former Employers
If you speak ill of a former manager the interviewer will assume you would do the same to him or her. Bad mouthing the company, manager or your former co-workers is always self-defeating. You may be tempted to confide when the interviewer feels more like a friend than a decision maker but don’t do it!
Asking Poor Questions
The only thing worse than asking poor questions is asking no questions at all. Poor questions focus on what the company can do for you. They include questions about health benefits, salary or paid time off. These questions should wait until after an offer is forthcoming. (This is also in line with effective negotiating tactics.) Good questions ask about what you can do for the company. Questions like “How do you measure success in this position?” or “How would you describe your ideal employee?” show you ‘get it’.
It is surprising when candidates are unprepared to talk about themselves or their accomplishments. Interview questions seem to catch these people off guard or they give very short answers that don’t convey much information. Interviewers interpret this behavior as laziness or disinterest. Take time to review common job interview questions and decide in advance how you will handle them. Practice telling (short) stories about your accomplishments.
Little or No Knowledge about the Company
Too many candidates interview with companies they know nothing about. If you can’t be bothered to do basic research the interviewer will infer you’re not willing to go the extra mile. The bigger the company, the more unforgivable this will be.
Forgetting the Interview Is Not Over Until Leaving the Building
There is nothing more heartbreaking than acing the interview only to blow it as you’re leaving. This happens more than it should. For example: Just as candidates get to the door one interviewer will casually ask, “By the way, how did you manage to get time off today?” It’s surprising the number who answers, “I called in sick.” Likewise beware of casual interactions inside the company’s building or facilities. Don’t say or do anything that would reflect poorly on you if it were shared with the hiring manager.
Leaving Interviews without Knowing What Happens Next
You need to know what happens next. Having this information will help keep you from fretting about an offer and more importantly it will facilitate effective follow-up. Questions like, “When do you anticipate making a decision?” or “When should I expect to hear from you?” are completely appropriate.
First Impressions- Are you dressed appropriately?
Is your hair style attractive? Are your fingernails clean and trimmed? If you wear makeup, is it subdued enough for a work setting? Did you stroll into the interview on your cell phone? Also, for younger interviewees, walking into an interview with your mother may prove that you’re not ready to be independent. Make a good first impression and the interview won’t be lost from the beginning.
Be Careful All The Way
Yes, it sounds like this is just a little too much, but you can never be too careful in an interview. You want to eliminate anything and everything that might keep you from being considered for employment. Eliminate as many of the possible problem areas as you can so that the employer focuses on what you bring to the table in terms of qualifications. Also, don’t lie about something just because it looks bad. Your interviewer may consider you dishonest. If you honestly ‘forget’ to mention something, then that is a different story…
Arrive on Time.
This is an absolute must. To be sure you will make it on time, take a ride to the location a day or two before the interview so you know how to get there. Leave the house an hour earlier than you normally would, because traffic jams and bad weather happen at the worst times. Take a few moments to calm your nerves, and, if you like, say a prayer and check yourself in a mirror. When it is time to walk in the door, do so about ten or fifteen minutes before the interview is supposed to start. Never arrive late. If something comes up, such as a traffic accident, call the company as soon as possible to make them aware of the situation.
Be professional- Professionalism is highly valued.
Are you chewing gum, smoking or tapping your pen on your portfolio? Everything you do will be judged in some form or fashion by the interviewer. Omit anything that might exclude you from further consideration as a potential job candidate.
Speak Clearly and Concisely
Remember the phrase, “Never use two words when one word will do.” Address each person you meet as “Mr.” or “Ms.” and articulate your words using proper grammar. Also, keep your answers short and to the point. Talk to communicate a message, not just to fill the quiet spells in the interview. Speak up and out so your interviewer doesn’t ask “What did you say?”
Adapt to your interviewer
Some interviewers dislike the process, and may say so, and they might be swayed more by a friendly attitude. Furthermore, if you are lucky enough to have an informal and friendly interviewer, you will feel more relaxed and find it easier to give perfect answers. Just don’t get so comfortable you forget why you’re there!
Bring extra copies of your resume along with a separate list of your references
More than likely your resume is what netted you the interview. However, being prepared with extra copies will allow you to make sure the interviewer has it to refer to. References do not get checked until a company is seriously interested in a candidate. If you are asked for your references in an interview. Great! Make sure you’re able to supply them upon request.
Be Strategic with Your Questions
Forgetting to ask how long the previous person was in the role will cause you to lose out on valuable information. You should also find out what priorities would require your immediate attention. This will tell you if everything was left in order, or if you will have to sort out a mountain chaos. It should also tell you how much time the boss will give you to sort out the mess. Try to find out what type of corporate culture you will be entering – what you need to do to progress in the organization. Having received the answer to all these questions, you may decide to politely excuse yourself and head for the exit.
Your cell phone.
It must be in one mode only and that is OFF. I really don’t need to justify why this is essential. It’s simply rude to leave it on during an interview and even more so to answer a call. I once had that happen when I interviewed a woman. She took a personal call and spoke for about 10 minutes. She did apologize but did I hire her? I don’t think so. It’s simply disrespectful.
Don’t ask about benefits.
This is immaterial in a first interview, even in a second. The salary, perks etc. will come onto the table and the hirer will offer these. You should not ask for it. You don’t want to leave the impression that you are just in it for the money etc.
Be in a good and natural mood.
Smile, show interest and enthusiasm. Simply be positive in your body language and your speech. If you ooze positive energy it will rub off on everyone around you.
ADDITIONAL CRITICAL INFORMATION TO KNOW…
The real secret to achieving a “most favored” status is understanding “C-3”
1. Can you do the job (Are you fully qualified, meet all the basic criteria, no relo, no special anything)
2. Can you do the job here (culture, environment team)
3. Can you do the job here, now (minimal transition, no training, aligned objectives)
Speak to your core values
∙ What do you believe in?
∙ Keep it professional
∙ Keep it applicable – tie it to your research of the company
Create and remember Your Value Proposition
∙ What is the greatest value you offer?
∙ What makes you unique?
∙ What sets you apart from others?
Spend some time thinking about these questions, then jot down five value statements—phrased in terms of value to the company.
For example: If your greatest strength is leadership, rather than stating “I have great leadership skills,” expand on that in a meaningful way: “I am able to deliver exceptional results—such as double-digit profit increases and 10% revenue growth in a down market—by inspiring and leading people to put forth extraordinary effort and do it with joy and passion.”
To make it easier for you to remember, remember this acronym: S.T.A.P.L.E.S:
- Team player
- Security [background checks, criminal convictions, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
If you need help with perfecting your interview skills, check out our Interview Preparation session for overcoming your obstacles. Contact us for a customized approach to your needs.