INTERVIEW TIPS FOR JOB SEEKERS: FOUR TIPS FOR THE BIG INTERVIEW
Most people dread interviews because they walk in with the wrong mindset and never plan ahead. Prepare for success with these four tips to nail that big interview.
CONTROL YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
Deliberately and confidently move your body when you feel like shifting your weight, crossing your legs, or moving your hands. Do not make sudden movements, especially in response to a certain question or response from the interviewer. Keep your arms open-folding them or clasping them can signal a need for protection, which belies a lack of confidence. This is particularly useful while dealing with executive search firms in major cities, like New York.
Subtly mirror your interviewer-don’t mimic his or her every move right away, but adopt a similar posture, mannerism, and speech pattern slowly as the interview goes on. It builds trust subconsciously. Also consider how your interviewers act: are they leaning forward in their chairs out of interest, or are they leaning back to assess you?
OWN THE INTERVIEW
Most people are afraid to take the reins on interview conversations. But the truth is that you will show that you’re actually thinking when you start asking the questions-and employers generally prefer to hire independent self-starters instead of under-achievers.
Take note: this does not mean that you should dominate the interview-but do rise up to the challenge.
You should be asking about everything, from daily responsibilities to the broader business plan and everything in between. Show the interviewer that you aren’t going to stop learning just because your job description doesn’t call for it. Research shows that curiosity qualifies people for leadership more than just intelligence and performance, so show the interviewer exactly the kind of leader you can be.
The other side of asking your own questions is that it shows you came prepared. People often state that they have no questions at the end of an interview because they’re nervous or they don’t know much about the company. Foregoing questions shows a lack of interest or competency-since there is always more to learn, failing to ask questions sends the message that you’ve already given up on learning.
MAKE A POINT OF LEARNING THE EXPECTATIONS
You need to learn the expectations quickly, but also be seen learning the expectations. Like the sales process, you need to listen to the interviewer before telling them how you can solve his or her business pain. Sales people listen intently, and use what they’ve learned to understand the company’s needs.
Interviews are no different! Listen to the interviewer. Some interviewers will immediately ask you why you’re special, what you bring to the table, or why they should hire you. They may not even realize, but it’s a trap! You can honestly say that you need to hear more about their business pains before formulating a possible solution. It’s effective because it’s true-others claiming to have a ready-made solution simply won’t deliver what they promise.
CRAFT A BELIEVABLE STORY
Do not simply rehash your résumé, and do not simply say “I’m really passionate about corporate compliance policies and I want to make a difference.” Nobody believes that. Instead, craft a believable story that blends two elements: what you can do for the company now, and how you plan to grow with the company.
Like your cover letter, you need to contextualize your résumé for the interview. Interviews and cover letters work best when they cover what you can do for the company instead of what the company can do for you. On the other hand, you are also at the interview to determine if this company will be a good fit for you. Therefore, you need to formulate a new chapter in your story that makes working here a logical next step for both the company and you. It needs to be logical, mutually beneficial, and-if you can pull it off-it needs to seem like it is “meant to be.”