Have you ever wondered why you had a great Interview and left feeling confident, or at least hopeful, only to find out that you didn’t get the job?
Here’s a few insider secrets that might help you out.
1. If you’re serious about the job, change your other plans to make sure you are available on the date and time you are asked to attend. Helping the Interviewer to co-ordinate their schedule smoothly will always be seen favourably before you arrive and it means you don’t lose out by missing the first phase. If you have an absolutely genuine reason for not being able to attend, all Interviewers will understand and try to accommodate you, but be honest – or inventive! An HR Manager recently told me that she’d had to reschedule 12 interviews this year due to funerals. Last year the reason was always cancer treatment for a relative….
2. Interviewers often DO make their minds up as soon as you walk through the door and that’s to do with your body language, facial expression and general appearance. Professional HR Managers have interviewed hundreds of people in their time and will quickly decide how high or low on their scale you come. This is a time for professional dress standards and you should greet the Interviewer with good eye contact. Enter the room confidently and offer a firm handshake as you introduce yourself. Be warm and friendly, but ready to talk business. Get your arrival right and you won’t have to recover a negative situation, without even knowing that you need to.
3. Smile. Not only when you arrive, but at appropriate times during the Interview. Candidates often listen so intently their faces fall into a frown, so think about the face you’re projecting throughout the Interview and show you’ve understood, are listening and responding to their comments. Smile when you talk about yourself and you’ll project considered confidence. The Interviewer doesn’t know you personally yet; you have to illustrate that you are engaged. By smiling, you may also find the whole atmosphere relaxes and that will enhance the meeting for everyone.
4. Keep your answers appropriate and reasonably concise. This one takes a bit of juggling, because you have to judge the person who is doing the Interviewing. If they’re relaxed and happy for you to talk, then accept that cue as an opportunity to open up the conversation. If you can see they’re hassled and stressed, then use phrases which capture what you want to say concisely and offer to expand if they’d like you to. That way, the Interviewer has the opportunity to either move on or listen more fully to what you want to say. Don’t forget, they’re human too – and your Interview might have landed in the middle of their rotten day. You could even begin the conversation with an enquiry about how the Interviewer’s day or week is going and their answer could give you some clues about how you can be most effective for yourself.
5. Use every opportunity you can to let the Interviewer know what you can bring to the Organisation, without overdoing it. When you are asked to talk about one of your skills, give them a practical overview of your knowledge in that area but include extra information, such as how long you’ve been doing it, why you chose that career path, talk about how it relates to other activities (whether at work or for pleasure). Demonstrate that you bring the basic skill, but that’s just part of the whole package you offer and, where appropriate, link the conversation back around to another part of your skill set that you particularly want them to notice. Doing this will demonstrate your enjoyment and input to the job you do – all positive signs that you’ll add value to the Team – and that’s what your Interviewer is looking for. This, especially, can make the difference between the best person on paper losing out to someone with less ‘technical’ skills. It may be that the successful Candidate simply offered a better all around fit for the Team.
6. Have the confidence to ask how the Interview went, before you leave. This is your life and the result of the Interview matters to you, so why shouldn’t you get an idea about the possible result? You’ll probably startle the Interviewer, because they’re not used to being asked but, however it was going, you will now walk away leaving them in no doubt you care about their view, because you want the job. Whatever happened during your conversation together, you’ve just added 25% back onto your score card.
…. and a couple of extras pointers….
Once the Meeting has begun, whatever their view of you, Interviewers will professionally complete the process, so don’t ever think you’re home and dry until you receive an Offer.
Remember, they’re human too. Interviewers have good, bad and indifferent days. Make it easy for them to decide that you’re the right person for the job.
Good Luck – and get good at grabbing the best jobs for yourself!
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