When it comes to your next interview, it’s not only important to share your qualifications and answer questions smoothly and succinctly, but project the other key factors that can easily trump credentials such as articulating value, motivation, likability and drive to name a few.
I have worked with numerous decision makers who’ve hired “drive” over skills/education because while you can teach someone to perform and excel in a function, you can’t teach intrinsic motivation and genuine likability. I also think that it’s imperative that the candidate articulates their value to an organization. This isn’t the recruiter’s job; it’s the candidate’s. They have to be clear in how hiring them will make a bottom line difference no matter what position they’re interviewing for.
But the only way you will succeed is to relax and remember that you are in the driver’s seat, you have a choice and you are there because you deserve to be.
Here are ten things to keep in mind before you walk in to your next interview:
- It’s a Dual Interview: You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. This should relax you and help you get in the frame of mind that you are both bringing your best and both of you are in the driver’s seat here.
- Come Prepared: It doesn’t hurt to bring extra copies of your resume/cv, cover letter and references along with you. Additionally, use the notepad in your portfolio to jot down the questions that you want to ask them so you can clear your mind of that clutter and focus your concentration on your responses.
- Consider Their Needs: Think about what they want from this conversation. Can you put their mind at ease that you are capable of doing this work even if you have never done it exactly this way before? Are you a hard worker and willing to make their lives easier by digging in and putting effort into this? And finally, are you likable? Are you the kind of person they can have fun with, will respect and will be a gracious colleague?
- Just Relax: Take a few deep breaths, counting to four on intake, six on holding and eight on release. This is a pranayama exercise that helps you slow your heart rate, relax and concentrate.
- Focus On Conversation: Keep in mind that this is a conversation and you are simply speaking with other educated adults and explaining how you will be able to make a difference within their organization. That’s all!
- Keep it Real: If you forget to say something, ask if you can go back to a question and add more to your response. If you make a mistake or forget something, correct yourself if you can. We are all human.
- Don’t Forget to Smile: You don’t want to force an awkward smile, but when you are being introduced, are finished with a response, or when there is a lull in the conversation, smile and make it genuine.
- Sit Up Straight: You don’t have to look like a ramrod, but body language does count. Sit up straight or lean in when possible to show interest. Of course eye contact is always important, being sure that you address everyone in the room, but don’t stare. It’s okay to look away or up as you think through your responses, just avoid looking at your feet.
- You’re in Demand: Remember, they asked for you to be there. They have invested money in bringing you to their office so you already have won them over. Now they simply want to meet you and have the opportunity to see if you are a good fit, as you are doing the same on your end.
- You’ve Got This: This is an interview, not major surgery. Your life doesn’t depend on this success. So remember, you are going to be just fine and as long as you believe in yourself and that you are there for a purpose, then you’ve got this. Something positive will come from this experience, and it is meant to be part of your journey, so enjoy it and no matter the outcome you will have walked away learning a lot.
How To Be Career Happy? Keep These Ten Things In Mind Before Your Interview