A fellow coach once told me that she had a client who spent so much time trying to craft perfect answers to each question that her body language was completely off. She was so nervous that she wasn’t connecting with any of the people she was interviewing with.
The key to being a great interviewee is you’ve got to give yourself time to relax. This means you must plan on arriving for your interview 10-20 minutes early. When you get to an interview late or in the nick of time you’re going to look and feel rushed. That is the last impression you want to leave a potential employer with.
Preparing for an interview is not as hard as some of you may think.
You may not know the exact questions you will be asked, but you can count on the questions focusing on two things; whether you have the experience, skills and knowledge to do the job, and whether you fit the perceived profile of the person this company is going to hire.
Taking this into account, here are some ways to develop a winning interview strategy.
- Compile a thorough inventory of your talents, experience, business, technical and interpersonal skills, and your overall subject knowledge.
- Review the job posting and develop a profile of the company’s ideal candidate.
- Check off the skills you possess that appear in the company profile your prepared and rate yourself on each one on a scale of 1-10
- Now comes the hard part. Prepare a 90 second pitch that describes the new you based solely on the desired profile.
- Prepare additional 90 second pitches describing accomplishments you have achieved that relate to specific factors, experience, skills and challenges that appear in the job post.
1. Dress to blend in, not to impress. Do your homework to find out how others in the company dress and then dress accordingly. The two factors to know are how casual or conservative will be a turn on or a turn off. Research the culture and mirror it. It is not what’s in your closet that will impress people; it’s how well you fit in.
2. When in doubt smile. A smile brightens up a room and is infectious. If the interviewer is having a bad day a smile will turn it around. If he or she is having a great day, it will continue that feeling. Nobody wants to be around a sourpuss and even fewer people want to hire or work with one. Interviewers are looking for a connection, and you make that connection by smiling.
3. Remember, the interviewer is a human being as well. You’re not the only person in a room with someone they haven’t met. The interviewer is there to find out more about you so be polite, friendly and considerate.
4. Mirror your interviewer’s tone. Having the ability to empathize with others will serve you well in the interview and in life at the office. Pay attention to your interviewer’s body language and tone and do your best to match it. If they’re upbeat, you’re upbeat. If they’re not, rein your excitement in a little bit so that you don’t unnerve them.
Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, AIPC certified recruiter and SMMU certified social media strategist known for his ability to help his clients get results. You can view his sample resumes at http://www.perrynewman.com/, and email him your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org for FREE resume critique.