How to Successfully Navigate the Interview Stage
In working with clients and candidates over the past ten years, I have found that the ‘ask’ is far greater now – companies and employers expect more contribution, more skills, more creativity. Securing that ideal job begins with a successful interview.
Before the interview, research the company. Who are they? What types of services do they provide? Who are their clients? Then, prepare for every possible question and know your resume. Seek out opportunities to practice your interviewing skills with others through mock interviews. Next, prepare questions to ask the interviewer. Remember that interviewing is a two way street-and your questions say something about who you are.
Come to the interview with a personal branding toolkit.
This should include business cards, a cover letter, resume, references document, and, if you’re in a creative field, a portfolio of work. Each part of your toolkit should have a link to your LinkedIn profile. By doing this, you are viewed as someone who has come prepared, are thoughtful and understand how to sell yourself.
Show positive body language.
Sit up straight, smile, have a firm handshake and use eye contact during the interview. This way you’ll be taken more seriously and it shows respect for the people who are interviewing you. It also displays your interest for the position, which is important because there are so many people vying for the job that if you don’t come off as interested enough, you’ll be passed over.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Most job seekers believe that they are the only ones being interviewed, which is the wrong way to look at it. You need to interview them by asking questions related to the job and the work environment. Find out what they like about their job, what a typical day is like and more about where the group or organization is going long-term. Also, asking questions shows you’re thoughtful and interested in the position.
Storytelling works. Don’t regurgitate facts that are on your resume. Use the power of personal stories to convey the essence of who you are and what’s important to you. It’s easier to be enthusiastic when you’re telling a story versus just restating facts.
Display your unique personality.
Don’t hold back who you are during the job interview because that’s how you can connect with the hiring manager. You might have mutual interest outside of work, too, so don’t shy away from talking about them. You want to use everything to your advantage and you’ll feel much better about yourself and the job if there’s a natural connection between both yourself and the interviewer.
Discuss your skills and talents.
Talk about your unique skills and talents that separate you from all of the other candidates. If you’re an expert at a certain skill, play that up as much as possible during the interview. While job seekers brand themselves as generalists, companies want to hire specialists. By pushing your top skill, as it applies to the job, you can stand out.
End with a bang.
Make sure you’re authentic and memorable. Step up to stand out!
After the interview, personalize a thank you that makes you stand out and makes a human connection, build your virtual network by sustaining connections via Linkedln, and make good notes on what you felt went well and what you could improve on while you’re in the moment.
Best of luck! For additional advice on interview techniques contact Sylvia Jones and her team at Elevate Executive Selection on Tel: +441 296 8663 or visit https://elevateselection.com/.
Sylvia Jones is the director of Elevate Executive Selection’s Bermuda Operations and has been lending her vast knowledge of the recruitment process to the continued success of her clients and candidates alike.