There’s plenty of places you can find interview tips online from a quick google search. However, not all of them seem to have a real voice behind them. So I wanted to make a post for all of my friends who are looking for jobs and will be entering the interviewing stage. My take is a bit unique as I have had dozens of interviews in the past couple of months as well as conducting my own interviews as I work in Human Resources.
This post isn’t going to be a full on interview guide but rather just a few snapshots that I have found to be important in my experience.
Confidence is everything. It isn’t a cliche. You are interviewing for a job and you really have to do your best in selling yourself. One of the biggest misconceptions I had during my interviews was that there would only be a few people to compete with and that being called in was already an edge. Although its true being called in for an interview meant there was something about your resume or application the hiring staff liked, it should by no means give you any assumptions of having no competition. That said, you have to prove why you’re the best candidate for the job. Doing so often times means going above and behind simply explaining why your experience can handle the job description. Think about it, every single person who comes in to interview is doing the same thing. My advice is to be confident and different. Don’t be afraid to talk about your other skills and interests even if it doesn’t directly correlate to the job. There are many sites that advise not doing this but honestly sit back and realize that interviewers are people too. They can get bored just as easily as you can & they don’t want to hear dozens of people telling them the exact same thing. It will only be a disservice to you. If you are confident with what you are talking about, it can make all the difference.
Surprise them. How many times have you read that you should do research before an interview? It’s a no brainer, the logical thing to do before an interview is to research and know about the company. To me this isn’t a valuable piece of advice because honestly this should be common knowledge. Instead, during your research try finding out facts or strange things about a company’s history to bring up. No one wants to hear recited company history off of wikipedia. If you know something that may even be new to the interviewer it can really show you’re interested in the company’s story and aren’t just trying to recite information. Also try using information you find to really relate back to yourself and why it represents you. Company’s want employees to truly represent and identify with their brand and culture. Being able to speak to why you can be that employee can mean everything.
Turn the interview into a conversation. My most successful interviews have always been an interview turned into a comfortable conversation between myself and the interviewer. Typical question and answer interviews quickly become boring and awkward and usually leaves you wishing you could tell the interviewer more about yourself. In order to avoid this, try being personable. Way too many people get lost in the corporate stigma of professionalism and structure. Of course you must remain professional in all interview settings but that doesn’t mean you have to turn into a robot. Be yourself, make jokes, ask about their day, comment about your surroundings. Little things can add up to making your interview become more of a 2 way conversation that will allow both parties to learn more. Again chances are, your interviewer has been meeting with tons of applicants and is growing tired of the process. Make yourself stand head and shoulders apart by being unique. There are many cases a great candidate is passed over or forgotten because their interview was too similar to others. Be the candidate that not only has the experience but has all the intangibles to be a likable team member.
Don’t be Desperate. I know it may be hard to not appear desperate for a job if you have been looking for quite some time and are ready to accept just about anything. Even if that is the case you really need to do your best to be calm and collected during an interview. If you appear too desperate for a job it may cause the interviewer to wonder why no one else has wanted to hire you yet. Don’t allow them to make those assumptions. It is really important to have self worth and to believe you are the best person for the job. In my experience it is also good to let the interviewer know you are currently having multiple interviews with other companies if you are actively seeking. What this does is create a sense of curiosity as to what other companies are seeing in you. It also flips the tables and puts the desperation on them as they would not want to lose you to another company if they like your experience.
Again these are only a few things out of the the many factors that make up the science of interviewing but I feel these are some of the more important aspects that can quickly turn around your interview success.