Want to get a job? Then you must impress the people you interview with. It is very competitive out there so once you get the interview, don’t blow it! Whatever your reason for interviewing, here are 10 practical ways to shine in your interview:
1. Do your homework!!!
You need to be prepared with the questions you want to ask them and also for the questions they will most likely ask you. Know where you are going so you can get there 10 to 15 minutes before your appointment.
2. Make a GREAT first impression.
Dress for success! Smile, make eye contact, deliver a firm handshake, be enthusiastic, show your energy and desire to be there, sit forward in your chair and pay attention. Find ways to establish a connection with the interviewer.
3. Start the interview by thanking the person for the time and opportunity for the interview.
Make sure you answer the questions. Do not talk to much, communicate with purpose and demonstrate energy. Don’t forget to smile when appropriate as you answer the questions. People like to hire friendly people, people they like.
4. Ask questions about what really matters to them and not just you.
See #1 above. Show the interviewer how you can contribute and add value. Make sure the job is a good fit. Do not be the first to bring up the salary or benefits such as vacations or working from home.
5. Be memorable.
Recruiters interview many people so mention something that will make you unique and memorable. Try to find something you have in common with the interviewer (an outside interest, an unusual fact about you). Being memorable is a key differentiator.
6. Know yourself and your value proposition.
Some people call it your elevator speech or your 30 second commercial. Researching the company is a given so go a step farther if you can and prepare a 90 day plan if you were to get the position. That will give you confidence to speak about the things that are related to the job and how you can hit the ground running.
7. Create POSITIVE sound bites.
Interviewers will only remember a few sound bites, so remind them what makes you unique and highlight your skills. Do not bad mouth past employers.
8. Ask for the job if you feel you are a great match.
This is perhaps the hardest thing to do since not that many people know how to sell themselves. By the end of the interview, you should know if you want the job. If you need more information, then ask for an opportunity to ask more questions. Otherwise ask for the job.
9. Be thankful for the opportunity and the time.
Reinforce the connection you established with your follow-up. At a minimum, make sure you send an email with a thank you note. Handwritten notes are even better but the best way to follow up is a thank you letter based on something you learned during the interview and confirming the next steps.
10. Be polite and persistent.
With so many people looking for a job, you have to find a way to network and differentiate yourself. Leverage your LinkedIn contacts and ask for introductions and recommendations. Stay the course, build your brand and be persistent.
Keep in mind that the interviewer wants to figure out if you are a good fit for the position and for the company. It is your responsibility to demonstrate the following 3 things:
1) That you can do the job in an effective matter
2) That you want to do the job with the right attitude
3) That you are a good fit for the culture of the company and will be a valuable member of the team
David Navarro is a global sales leader that has interviewed and worked for teams in 8 different countries for several Fortune 500 companies. Has sold over $400 million dollars in solutions globally and has a passion for helping people succeed. He can be reached at dnavarroMBA@gmail.com
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Category: Personal Branding