The act of searching for a job has evolved dramatically over the last decade. This is due in large part to the involvement of technology in the process.
Most employers use some form of resume sorting software that can delete your application before the employer even gets a chance to view it. If you are lucky enough to be called in for an interview, the ways in which questions are being asked is vastly different to those being asked 10 years ago. Employers have access to social media, including LinkedIn. In many aspects, many interviewers have already done some homework on you before you even sit down in the chair across from them.
Fortunately, there are many strategies you can employ to prepare for an interview that can give you an edge over all the other candidates. The following interview tips can give you insight into the probable questions the interviewer will ask you and what she or he is looking for in youranswers.
Additionally, your interview is not just about the questions asked and answered. It is about presentation and first impressions (both in person and online). Use the following information to make sure you present yourself as the perfect candidate for the job.
Before submitting your resume, you will ideally have done some research on the company you are interested in. However,before interviewing with them, it is critical you dig deeper into the company’s mission statement and culture.Find the answers to the following questions:
Knowing the company you are interviewing with is only part of the equation. You also need to know the person you will be interviewing with. While sometimes this is not always possible, do your best to find out. This allows you to look him or her up on LinkedIn and send the interviewer a quick message saying something like, “I am looking forward to speaking with you on Monday.” This tells the interviewer you are preparing and that you go above and beyond.
One of the worst things you can do during an interview is to have zero questions when it is your turn to ask something of the interviewer. Here are some good ones but use them as a springboard to create your own.
These questions to ask your interviewer are useful because they work on several different levels. First, they show you are interested in the company. Second,they subtly indicate you are looking to stay with them long term if certain conditions prevail. Finally, the questions suggest that you are interested in contributing to the company beyond just your position’s responsibilities.
The unfortunate fact about job interviews is that you are probably one out of tens or hundreds of candidates submitting an application to a position. How will you stand out from the pack? These days, the strength of your resume may not be enough to help you do that.
One of the best ways to stand out is to already have some idea of the interviewer’s professional interests or affiliations and find common ground upon which to comment when the opportunity presents itself. You can do this by reviewing the LinkedIn profile or by searching the internet for references to this person.
Many times, you may find out you both are members of the same association, both went to the same college or both have traveled to the same places. If you are not able to locate information about the interviewer, then be an active listener in the interview, looking for common ground and interests to associate with. The idea is to make a personal connection with the interviewer so he or she will remember you when looking over your application and resume one last time.
When going to an interview, you should plan to arrive well in advance of your appointed interview time. While there,be polite to the secretary, often otherwise known as “the gatekeeper” and be ready to engage in some small talk. If the secretary strikes up a conversation, be genuine and warm.
Sometimes, the nonverbal communication you use is just as important as your words. Try to stay calm, or as calm as possible. Focus on the questions being asked and do not interrupt the interviewer by anticipating his or her question.Lean slightly forward when you are responding, as this indicates engagement and active listening.
You should make sure the initial handshake and eye contact are firm, confident and friendly. Avoid crossing your arms or placing items in your lap as a barrier, such as your briefcase or portfolio. Also, if you have the option, choose a high-backed chair as opposed to a soft chair or sofa, as the softer seating makes it difficult to sit gracefully.
If you tend to fidget or show physical signs of nervousness, suppress the urge while you are in the interview. Make A point of making eye contact at least a few times during the interview. Constant eye contact can be perceived as aggressive, while avoiding eye contact at all can also give the wrong impression.
Following up means sending an email or, better still, a handwritten thank you card to the interviewer. This depends on the type of industry. In general, however, a thank you email following your interview will be enough. This doesn’t mean sending multiple emails over the course of a week asking if he or she has made a decision yet.