I get asked for interview tips all the time, by my candidates, friends, family – I suppose I am an expert so I probably shouldn’t be surprised by this. I am a little surprised though by how simple, common sense suggestions can sometimes appear to be ground-breaking when it comes to presenting yourself in the best light. And when I say best light I don’t mean something soft lit, and romantic. I mean full HD spotlight. Step out of the shadows and show them what you got!
Now this is specifically tailored towards interviewing in smaller markets, but honestly I think this could be applied to anyone, no matter where in the world, or what your role is. Utilise the age old adage – do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. Treat others – all others within a business that you come into contact with – with dignity and respect. Be friendly and warm, it costs you nothing but it could pay dividends! Business networking can and often will start from the moment you walk in the door. Or prior to this if you have seen the meme floating around about the person who cut someone off to get the last carpark, threw a rude gesture at the person who was calmly waiting for it and then walked into an interview where that same individual was the hiring manager. You want to be on your best behaviour and be genial. Actually that is some pretty good advice just generally for your everyday living. But specifically when it comes to job hunting you don’t know when you might come across these people again. As I mentioned before if you work and live in a smaller economy like Auckland (on the international scale of things) the likelihood of you bumping into someone you have mucked around is quite high. And if you find yourself in a desperate situation down the line, or perhaps even just applying for a ‘once in a lifetime’ dream job would you want to be declined on the basis you were a jerk to someone a year or two ago? I’m not saying it happens often, but I’m also not saying it doesn’t happen – if you catch my drift.
Be formal in how you speak – peppering an explanation with swear words and slang is not going to make the best first impression, and could result in you losing the opportunity to make a second. Also explain yourself, you may have given a hugely detailed breakdown in your CV but that doesn’t matter. You still need to explain yourself and your experiences in detail in an interview scenario. Simply telling the interviewer that you have already explained that in your CV, or giving them attitude because they haven’t studied up on your background last night isn’t going to do you any favours. Think about it, if there is an open role chances are the person you are talking to is quite busy – the easier you make this process for them, the more favourably they are going to view you. The person who gives them attitude for not knowing their CV syllable for syllable is not going to make the next round.
Really when it comes down to it, if you have the experience required for a position, can effectively explain your experiences, and present yourself as a likeable individual who would be a good team player you are 95% of the way there. Yes someone more experienced may come and sweep this role away from you, but trust me HR managers remember the good candidates. And you might just get a surprise call about a new role that has just come up that hasn’t even been advertised yet; “You made such a great impression last time we just wanted to see if you would still be interested in working for us…”
Happy Job Hunting!
Photo credit: Koan @ http://www.morguefile.com/