Nervous about interviews? Join the club. Its a natural thing. Here are 6 tips that I have tried and tested that have assisted me in landing some pretty big roles, let me share them with you.
Not only the company, but particularly the individuals who are interviewing you. Generally, you can ask who will be conducting the interview and the position they hold in the company prior to the interview. Now get on your computer and let the research begin. Maybe they’re interested in sailing, are they are a dog lover, recently got engaged, or just returned home from a trip to India. Whatever it is, use it! Especially if it’s something you can relate to.
Now take that something you learned and mention it towards the beginning of the interview, this not only instantly builds a report but it also lets the interviewer know you were interested enough to do some research and with that you are immediately fall into the top 10% category of top performing individuals.
2. BRING A HARD COPY
This applies to two areas. 1. Your resume and 2. Prepared interview questions and answers
1. Resume – print off at least four copies of your resume. Even though the interviewees may have one upon sitting down always place it in front of them and say I wasn’t sure if you would have a copy or not so I printed you all one out to follow along.
2. Prepared interview questions and answers – every interview generally goes the same way. They initially start out with “Tell me about yourself and your experience” then they usually go onto the company and how your experience relates, and then the dive into the behavioral questions. having a broad range of these 3 areas written down or typed up ahead of time is crucial.
As It not only calms your nerves because you can refer to it but it also shows that you’re prepared for whatever challenging questions they throw your way. And this is where I say milk it. I often times intentionally pause on one of the questions even if I have the answer on the tip of my tongue. I then compliment them and say “that’s a great question” can I have a moment to think about It, then I rummaged through my notes take 10-15 seconds to review and answer the question in a professional manner. By Doing this the interviewer knows you came to the interview today fully prepared and that you are a very calculated and precise individual. It shows a lot about your character and immediately gives you the upper hand!
So many people tend to overlook confidence and let their nerves get the best of them before or during interviews. Nerves are completely normal however you need to control them. As confidence is one of the number one qualities all interviewers look for no matter what industry you are in. They want to know that you have the confidence they are looking to fill the position, fit in with the company and are willing to confidently take on any new challenges and tasks this position presents and generate success and growth in the process. Now this is where the fun begins. They typically start out the interview with asking tell me a little bit about yourself and your experience! This is your green light to step into the fast lane as they are essentially saying “brag about yourself!” See this as your opportunity to steer the interview. It’s good to start off with a brief story about yourself. And yes, I said “story” everyone loves a good story young or old and the more you make the feel like a story, the more intrigued they become, and the more intrigue they become the more you begin to stand out against all the other candidates! As you don’t always remember someone with good credentials but you always remember someone who had a good story to tell.
It’s good to start out with explaining some of your Strengths “since birth I’ve always been a very ambitious, _____, and ______ individual and I always like to be ______ in whatever it is I do. So, that’s what led me to my schooling where I studied _____ at ______. During my time here I excelled in _____. I have _____ years’ experience in _____.” Then go on to walk them through step by step the work journey you have been on. What lead you to each position what success and lessons you have had along the way. Finally ending on why you are here today sitting in front of them. Mention how you align with the company and why you are the best candidate for the position. And remember at the end of the day, even if you don’t have all the qualifications they are looking for… the best advice I can give is FAKE it until you MAKE it! Confidence is crucial and remember they brought you there for a reason!
4. ASK WELL ROUNDED QUESTIONS
One of the things interviewers look for is good questions prepared by the candidate at the end of the interview. Some interviewers I know will actually drop a candidate from the running if they haven’t prepared good quality questions. This part of the interview is hands down my favorite as it opens the floor for you to take control of the interview and clarify anything you need. When it comes to preparing questions there are 4 areas to cover which are…
1. Company focused
2. Personal focused
3. Interviewer focused
4. Interesting question
However the best place to start is with what’s important to you when it comes to working for a company.
- Company focused – This could be continuing education, personal growth and internal advancement, or even company culture. Whatever’s important to you; ask a question surrounding that and how that fits in with the company. Note – Many companies nowadays offer to pay for education costs, or maybe every Friday they have bring your dog to work day that eases some stress in the office environment, or maybe they encourage you to stay fit and healthy by providing a fully compensated gym membership. You won’t know until you ask!
- Personal focus – Is the second area to focus on with preparing questions
e.g. I really value ______ and ______ how can “company name” ensure this is an area that I can further develop. Or I value ____ what are some ways that “company name” demonstrates this in there day to day duties. This allows the interview to understand what kind of individual you are and what’s important to you when it comes to work. Because as much as they are interviewing you for the position, you also have a say in the final outcome. It takes 2 to tango and you can accept or deny the offer. So, remember you hold much more power than you may believe.
3. Interviewer focused – Third area to focus on is the interviewer, again this is a Relationship building question. The best question to ask them “what is your background; how did you become involved with working for “company name” and what do you love about it?” This is a rare question because it gives the interviewer a chance to tell their story. And just like anyone we all have a story and we all like to tell it. The fact that you were interested enough to ask them will make you stand out for all the right reasons and again may give you some great information to use upon a follow up moving forward.
4. Interesting focused – Lastly it’s nice to end in a high note, throw in a lighthearted question like “who do you follow as a mentor and why” or “what do you enjoy doing outside of work” again it’s a rare question that can open up great conversation. Also, you must be prepared to share yours! I personally like knowing who they consider a mentor. As is tells you a lot about an individual and the way they conduct business. Someone could say Donald Trump or someone could day Gary Vaynerchuk, or Richard Branson. All very successful business people in their own right but 3 very different styles of conducting business.
5. THE MAGIC QUESTION – WHATS NEXT
At the end of the interview it’s always good to do a recap. But before you do you should always ask one final question. This question some may find daunting to ask but I grantee you after you ask it you won’t ever regret it! The question is…
“Is there any reason why you WOULDN’T hire me?” this opens the floor for the interviewer to bring any hesitations to the surface if there are any and allows you as the candidate to present a valid proposal as to why their hesitation will not be a problem. As you may not even know that that area was even an issue for them. Knowing is better than not knowing and this allows you to address the hesitation head on and sell them on the idea that even though they may be right it’s actually not going to be a problem in terms of delivering results. The simple fact that it makes you aware of what they are thinking, and could give you an area to improve on with any additional interviews that may be conducted. Also, there may not even be any hesitations which only highlights where you stand in the running.
After this question is asked give them a recap of how you are the right candidate for the position and that you would be absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to represent the company.
After this is done you will need to ask the question what’s next? How soon are they looking at making a decision and when can you expect to hear from them! After this thank them for their time and always remember to grab their business card.
6. 24 HR FOLLOW UP
You are probably wondering why I said ask for their business card. The reason I said ask for it is because it will have direct contact details to the person whom conducted the interview. This allows you to send a 24hr follow up email after the interview.
The email should be short and sweet and directly to the point.
Hello _____ it was very lovely to meet you today. You have such a vibrant energy about you and I hope you enjoyed our chat as much as I did. I wanted to say thanks again for taking the time to interview me for the _____ position at “company name”
I always knew “company name” was a great company however after my interview with you today it is clear that this is a company I envision myself working for several reasons. Expand….
I believe I am the perfect individual to fill this role. My strong skills in _____, ____, and _____ are beneficial for this position and I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to represent he ______ brand. Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you in the next _____ days (or however long they told you)
Sending this email shows you are a take charge individual who demonstrates actionable characteristics and who is keen and exited to fill the position and that’s what every interviewer is looking for! Again, this allows you to make your mark, say any final remarks that you may have forgot and stand out in comparison to all the other candidates!
If you follow all 6 steps you are highly likely to stand out for all the right reasons and you will be leaps and bounds closer to landing your dream job! Good luck, go get em tiger.
If you want some more personalised mentoring prepping for interviews, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org