Updated: Jan 11
Those moments before an interview can often feel like pre exam. Wondering to yourself what am walking into? No matter how much preparation has been done, you really have no idea what is waiting on the other side of those doors.
Are the people as friendly as they seemed on the phone?
What if they just had a bad meeting?
Have they already chosen the best candidate?
Too many variables outside of your control - stop worrying about them. Really, this will not serve you well. Push those thoughts aside and get focused on your entrance. Your greeting, tone of voice, and seating position.
Did you know that Thomas Edison created the interview - back in 1921
100 years ago! Edison created a written test to evaluate job candidates knowledge.
Of course, interviews have come along way since then and now a candidate in say, the UK can be video interviewed with a hiring Manager anywhere in the world. In fact 60% of employers use video interviews for remote hiring.
Interestingly, 55% of recruiters reconsider candidates based on their social media presence - yikes!
Gone are the days when the interview was taken at face value and the decision made. Nope! We are in age of access all areas!
Recruiters not only read your CV, they will pop onto LinkedIn to check your profile and recommendations as they start to reduce the pile of applicants. The hiring Manager might hop onto IG, Tiktok and more to see how you present yourself socially.
They are trying to gage who you are/what motivates you/what are your interests to ultimately form an opinion split into 2 parts:
1. Will this person work well here?
2. Will this person add to our culture?
I was once hired by a client because of my background in fitness and nutrition. They surmised that my self-discipline was a testament to how I'd approach supporting them. I do often say, if you want a job doing really well, ask an athlete or someone who has ran a marathon or taken part in a IronMan competition.
These people know how to focus and squeeze every drop of effort out without being micromanaged or continually pushed.
Back to my point - access all areas means that when you arrive to interview stage, the hiring Manager probably already likes you.
This is fantastic and may play a huge part in taking you through to offer stage.
The only task in hand at the interview is to land impact, be memorable.
Sounds so simple, right?
Here are 3 things to land really well at your next interview
1. Small-talk. It is never small, do not underestimate this. I've hired thousands of people over the last 20 years and often, within minutes I know how far the candidate will go (although a few times this has turned around and I will demonstrate how in point 3). During smalltalk, your first aim is to absorb the interviewer. What is their mood, are they giving you fullest attention. These things matter as it will impact how you connect throughout. Be sure to respond positively to smalltalk. If there was heavy traffic on your journey, don't mention it - it's like delivering bad news! You want to show up as the solution here...because remember THEY have the problem, they need a recruit. You are showing up as the solution, so be sure smalltalk also delivers that.
2. Character building. It's important throughout your interview to get across your character through your tone of voice, intonations, body language including gesticulations. Why? 80% of communication is non-verbal. NEWSFLASH! The interviewer is not listening to every word you say. But they are picking up keywords, digging for examples and thinking 'can I trust this person' or 'are they going to give me a headache with needing too much of my time'
If you can portray that you have relevant skills and you're easy to get on with, in fact, enjoyable to be around, chances are you'll be getting that offer!
3. Questions that land interview impact. If by now the interview has gone ok, but you're starting to feel you didn't get into your stride, then NOW is the time to take back control. With your 2-3 questions you want to ignite the interviewers brain and let them know of your passion and curiosity for the role and company. Standard questions regarding training, development are ok - but those are asked all the time.
Almost every candidate plays it safe with those questions.
Instead, ask them about their own career journey at the company (from this you can gage what progress looks like). Ask the interviewer about the current projects happening or give your (positive) thoughts on the latest campaign launch. You want to be asking questions that lead the interviewer to think 'WOW - this person actually gives a hoot about our company and this role' !
The person who gets hired hired is not necessarily the one who can do the job the best, but the one who knows the most about how to get hired.
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