4 Strategies For Getting the Interview
1. Conduct research on the employer, hiring manager, and job opportunity
a solid foundation of knowledge about the position on the job seeker’s part serves as the base for success in any job interview. You need to have little knowledge about the employer, the background of the people interviewing you and the requirements of the job. You will understand your employer better by doing research. Study as much publications about the company as you can lay your hands on, go through their website like your interview depends on it, ask questions about the company, learn as much as you can about the interview and the position you are interviewing for and you will be alright.
2. Review common interview questions and prepare your responses
Another important step to interview success is preparing for likely questions. If possible, ask the hiring manager the type of interview you should expect – group or one-on-one. Will you meet a single interviewer or a team of interviewers? The aim of this is to try to make calculated guesses on the type of interview and probably the questions you will be asked. This would then serve as the template you will use in preparing for the interview. Put your responses into story form, it helps; it works better than memorizing your answers. There are several tools available that might make your interview easier, consider the STAR interviewing Technique.
3. Prep your greatest stories
Amazing stories rarely come by on the fly. Therefore, get your most impactful stories ready and ensure that these stories are related to the job. Write down up to 10 different stories that sum up your experience. Story telling makes people talk naturally. Take the challenge-action-result approach. What is the challenge that prompted them to look for a person for that position? What action could be taken to solve this problem and what would the result be?
Practice by telling these stories to friends and family, after doing this a couple of times, your confidence level will naturally grow.
Related posts: 7 secrets to tells about your career stories
4. Bring examples of your work
I have been called several times by hiring managers who expressed their delight at some of my candidates who came to the interview session with samples of their work. You also have the opportunity to do this. Make the most of printed words, it shows how prepared you are and this alone might just set you apart from other candidates.
Idea: Some candidates take a copy of their most recent written review to the interview. Obviously, you should only do this if your evaluation is outstanding.
Perhaps you could come with a graph or a chat that illustrates the actions you took that saved your old company some money or even how you improved their business.
Always couch your examples with the following line of logic:
• This was the situation at the time.
• This is what I did to remedy the situation.
• My actions yielded these results.
5. Arrive on Time, Relaxed and Prepared for the Interview
you have no excuse for arriving late to a job interview. As a matter of fact, you should arrive at least 15 minutes to the time so you can get settled before the actual interview begins. Arriving early also gives you the opportunity to observe the dynamics and environment of the workplace; hopefully, you might pickup on one or two things that might help you during the interview. Go with extra copies of your CV and reference list. If you have samples of jobs done in the past, go along with it; however, do not go with any confidential material from your last position. Just before you enter the office, put off your cell phone and get rid of anything in your mouth.
6. Take evidence of your achievements
it isn’t enough to talk about your past achievements, also go along with samples or evidence. That said, you do not want to go along with materials that are confidential to your previous position because it portrays you as careless. Feel free to go along with items such as pay slips, references, league tables etc. as long as they are appropriate.
7. Focus more on what you can do for the company, rather than what they can do for you
someone usually assumes the role of the seller while another takes that of the buyer. At this stage, consider yourself the seller. As the process continues, you will most likely be asked if you have questions for them. No is not an appropriate response. It is also inappropriate to have a long list of interview questions. Keep it brief.
8. Make good first impressions
it is important that you present yourself as polite. Greet everyone you meet right from the parking attendant to the receptionist and of course, the hiring manager. Employers are usually interested in seeing how you relate with members of staff. Note that your first few seconds during the interview can make or break you so it is important you make the first few seconds count. Arrive early, dress well and when you met your interviewer, greet him/her with a smile, while standing and making eye contact. Your handshake should be firm – not too soft, not bone crushing. Remember that it is important that you show enthusiasm for the position at this stage because most interviewers lean towards a decision within the first couple of minutes of the interview.
9. Dress for Success
your attire on the day should be one that fits the company culture. Try to keep it formal. It is always better to be over dressed than under dressed. You should appear clean and smart and ensure you keep your jewelry to the very minimum. Do not eat or smoke just before the interview and if possible, use mouthwash just before the interview.
10. Overcome “job interview nervous“
This is the reason why so many people perform poorly in interviews. This is worse than not preparing for the interview although, it is sometimes cause by not preparing for the interview.
Related post: 10 tips to overcome job-interview nerves
11. Remember the importance of body language
as much as what you say and how you look is important, it is also important that you have the right body language. If your body language is wrong, it could be a reason not to hire you or in the best-case scenario, it could be a distraction. The right body language entails that you smile, have a good posture, eye contact, active listening and nodding while bad body language includes playing with a pen, slouching, looking off in the distance, touching your face, stroking your hair back, fidgeting the chair, mumbling or chewing gum.
12. Ask insightful questions
different studies have shown that many interviewers make a decision on whether a candidate really wants the job or not by the questions they ask. A hiring manager will likely be thorough in what they need so why shouldn’t you be able to ask a question or two? Asking questions shows you have interest; it shows you have done your research and that you are curious and enthusiastic about the position. Prepare these questions before walking into the interview room.
13. Sell yourself and then close the deal
the most qualified candidate on paper isn’t always the one that is hired hence the need for an interview. The person hired is usually the one that responds best to the interview questions and shows that they are the right fit for the position. Think of it as a sales transaction where you are the sales person trying to sell yourself as the product to the hiring manager.
Finally, as the interview is drawing to a close, ask about the next step to the process and if there’s a timetable you should lookout for.
14. Thank Interviewer(s) in Person, by Email, or Postal Mail.
Common courtesy and politeness demands hat you hank everyone that played a part in the interview. You should start while you’re there after which you should send thank you emails and notes to the hiring manager. This wouldn’t get you the job, but it’s an advantage over those that didn’t send.
15. Follow up afterwards
your interview day shouldn’t be the last day they hear from you. Following up helps them remember who you are and as such, you won’t be forgotten even if you don’t get the position. Send a thank you note to them and an email shortly after that if you don’t hear from them. If this earns you a follow up interview, give it your best shot!
16. If you don’t get hired, find out why
even if you give it your best shot, it doesn’t mean that you will definitely be hired. A firm cannot hire everyone and if you happen to be among those that weren’t hired, try to find out why. This could help you in your next interview. Reflect on it, check for where you could have done better and use this to prepare for the next interview.
17. Freelancer jobs
if you don’t get picked or hired, you shouldn’t be bothered. There are many jobs on the Internet that can help you earn as much, if not more than you would have earned if you worked for a company.
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