During the Interview
This section is chock-full of helpful information that will assist you in preparing for the actual interview itself.
Fundamentals of a Successful Interview
To a large degree, the success of your interview will depend on your ability to discover needs and empathize with the interviewer. In addition to establishing empathy, there are four intangible fundamentals to a successful interview. These intangibles will influence the way your personality is perceived and will affect the degree of rapport, or personal chemistry, you’ll share with the employer.
- Enthusiasm: Leave no doubt as to your level of interest in the job. You may think it’s unnecessary to do this, but employers often choose the more enthusiastic candidate in the case of a two-way tie. Besides, it’s best to keep your options open. Wouldn’t you rather be in a position to turn down an offer than have a prospective job evaporate from your grasp by giving a lethargic interview?
- Technical Interest: Employers look for people who love what they do, people who get excited by the prospect of tearing into the nitty-gritty of the job.
- Confidence: No one likes a braggart, but the candidate who’s sure of his or her abilities will almost certainly be more favorably received.
- Intensity: The last thing you want to do is come across as “flat” in your interview. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a laid-back person, but sleepwalkers rarely get hired.
Body Language Matters
These things go a long way in an interview:
- Greeting the interviewer with a firm handshake
- Looking confident and enthusiastic
- Making eye contact with the interviewer
- Having a pleasant attitude
- Sitting up straight when seated
- Having a serious, professional attitude, with a touch of humor
- Closing the interview with a handshake
- Thanking them for their time
The Importance of Enthusiasm
It is all too often that we follow up with one of our clients only to hear, “She’s very qualified, but she really didn’t seem all that interested in the position.” A comment like this shows us the importance of perception and first impressions.
Showing enthusiasm and energy at an interview is very important. In this day and age when there are fewer job openings than people looking, it is quite common that the most qualified individual will not be offered a job because they do not convey the enthusiasm, excitement, or sense of urgency for which a company is looking.
As a rule, you should leave an interview conveying strong desire, energy, and enthusiasm to work for that company. Even if you’re not that interested in the position, you should still try to show enthusiasm and energy. One can never see the future. Will you ever meet the interviewer again? Will a more exciting position open up with the company soon?
It is important to remember that a negative or apathetic attitude has a way of sticking in people’s minds…and so does a positive one.
Here are some general pointers for a successful interview:
- Arrive early.
- Bring extra resumes, a notepad, and a pen.
- Be sure you know how to pronounce your interviewer’s name correctly.
- Be polite to everyone you meet there. They all count.
- Be personable, as well as professional.
- Do not chew gum, smoke, swear, or use slang.
- Assume all questions are asked for a good reason, and answer accordingly.
- Feel free to ask for clarification before answering a question.
- Take some time to formulate your answers before you speak. Pausing is a sign of thought and concern for what you’re about to say. Despite myths, it isn’t a sign of “not knowing the answer.”
- Answer all questions honestly but in the best, most positive light.
- Do not bad-mouth old employers.
- ALWAYS TURN OFF YOUR PHONE IN AN INTERVIEW!
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