You’ve done it; you landed that job interview. After all the resumé sprucing and cover letter writing, you finally got the call from HR and your first interview with your dream company is on the books. Now, it’s all about getting hired. Everyone, at some point in their life, will have to prepare for that uncomfortable and often intense meeting with a company they’ve applied to. But where do you begin? Here are some tips on how to get hired on the spot.
- TREAT YOUR INTERVIEW LIKE A SALES PITCH
Unless you’re actually in sales, the very concept of selling yourself can be daunting. You don’t want to sound arrogant or corny, or worse – desperate. But learning how to self-promote in a convincing manner is what the job interview is all about. Your interview is your chance to sell yourself and convince your interviewers of all the good you can do for the company. Interviews are not the time for modesty!
Have an elevator speech ready. Before you walk in the door, you should be ready with a short, punchy sentence or two that not only wraps up your skills, qualities and talents, but also entices the interviewer to listen to more of what you have to say. “You can’t create a single elevator pitch that will work for every audience,” says Anne Marie Segal a Connecticut-based executive coach at Stamford. “You have to be speaking to the pain points of the company.” After all, your goal is to present yourself as the solution to their problems.
If you’re not especially comfortable talking about yourself, the job interview is going to feel much more awkward than it really needs to be. The key to finding your rhythm? Practice.
- DRESS FOR SUCCESS
When you feel good about the way you look, you naturally convey confidence and a positive attitude. These nonverbal messages are as important in the interview as the verbal skills you use in selling yourself. While there are no absolute rules, a good tip is to dress as you would if you were working at the company.
What you wear depends on what kind of interview it is and what it’s for. Keep in mind that it is always better to be overdressed than under dressed. If you are confused as to what to wear, don’t hesitate to ask. Call the person who scheduled you for the interview, or human resources to ask.
How you dress for an interview does make a difference. You’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” When it comes to a job interview, nothing rings truer. First impressions matter and dressing up shows that you actually put some effort. The first judgment potential employers will make, is based on how you look and what you are wearing. This is why it’s important to dress professionally for a job interview even when the work environment is a casual one.
- KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES
A common job interview question you might get asked is, “What is your biggest weakness?” Even if you want to come across as the candidate to hire, no one is perfect, and trying to present yourself as such will put off the hiring manager.
So, just as you would keep track of your former glories, you should also have an example or two to present to a potential employer of things you need to work on. You can say something like, “In looking for a remote job, I’ve found that learning how to self-manage is very important. I’ve become much better at being able to meet all of my deadlines.” This doesn’t show failure, per se, but it does make you more human as you portray a weakness and how you’re working to make it better.
“Hiring managers who ask about weaknesses during interviews are looking for examples of how a person faced obstacles in the past. Interviewers ask about weaknesses and failures because resiliency is a critical skill set which employees must have. As a manager, you expect to give constructive criticism to your employees and the ability of a person to take that and improve is important when choosing who you will manage.” says Dylan Schweitzer, a group talent acquisition manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
- BE PREPARED
The most important step to getting hired is being prepared for your interviews. By doing some preparation you’ll feel more in control, and will appear cool, calm and collected as a result to your prospective employers.
At the very least, have a look at the company’s website to familiarise yourself with their history and what they do. Showing that you’ve taken the time to learn about the business is always a good way to impress your interviewers. Look into developments in the industry as well, as this will show that you are engaged and clued-in.
Additionally, make sure you fully understand the duties of the role and what is expected. If the interviewer asks ‘what do you know about the role’ and you’ve not read it, it’s a sure-fire sign you’re unlikely to get hired! Also, by reading the job specs you can start to anticipate the questions the interviewer may ask and be better prepared to answer them.
- SOLVE PROBLEMS
You won’t always be the most qualified candidate; however, you can still ace an interview by focusing on what skills you can bring to the role. Solving problems is an analytical skill that many employers look for when conducting interviews.
Managers would far rather hire a member of staff who can take action to resolve a problem than someone who doesn’t act and relies on someone else to think of a solution. Even if it isn’t outlined as a requirement in a job description, many employers will still be evaluating your problem-solving ability throughout the application and interviewing process. Effective problem solvers are those who can apply logic and imagination to make sense of the situation and develop a solution that works. Even if it doesn’t prove as successful as you had hoped, resilience is important, so you can reassess the situation and try an alternative.
During the interview, you may be asked about times when you ran in to problems in the course of your work and how exactly you handled these situations. Potential employers aim to find out how you would handle future problems that may arise in the company. Always show that you are a quick thinker and are able to come up with innovative ways to deal with various issues.
Use these few tips to build your confidence and lay the foundation for a positive and influential interview. Remember that a job interview is not a test of your knowledge, but your ability to use it at the right time. So just go in and remember – you’re fantastic!
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If you end up landing that dream position, you’ll need to turn your focus to progressing up the ladder. Find out how to get promoted here.