You've made it past the first round and now it’s time to dazzle them in person. Many people dread job interviews so much it stops them from even applying; going under a microscope can feel uncomfortable for even the most confident and extroverted of us. With the right preparation, and a little shift in mindset, your nervous anticipation might magically switch to excitement for your next job interview. Here are some tips I have gathered based off of my wisdom, experience and research.
1. Become an online sleuth
Do your research, but take it to the next level. Find out as much about the business and the people in the company - especially if you know who's interviewing you. Find out if they like golf, or oil painting; if they're family oriented or adventure oriented. Find out about the company, which charities they've been involved in, awards they've won, general accomplishments. Use this information to find a common ground and try to weave it into the interview - naturally of course. Regardless if you get the opportunity or not, you will be happy you've prepared.
2. Develop your personal story
"So, tell us about yourself". You will get asked this in almost every interview. This is your chance to entice and compel. What they really want to know is how your person meets their company and the specific position. This is an opportunity to show them your gold, and make them want you more.
3. Ask insightful questions
Being interested makes you interesting. Skip the salary question, the start date, and the boring and obvious questions and take it to another level. This is an opportunity to show them you're genuinely interested in what you can do for them, as oppose to what they can do for you. Some great examples of these kinds of questions are:
"What are some of the biggest challenges/successes facing the department currently?"
"What process will be used to evaluate my employee performance?"
4. Be polite to everyone you encounter
On the way there, in the elevator and obviously to everyone you pass inside the establishment. It will brew the positive energy and get you primed for the big guys. Also, it's just nice to be nice.
5. Wear a conversation starter
Dress your best and consider a subtle fashion statement that adds some personality. Whether it's an ethnic piece of jewellery from your recent travels, or a tie with a unique pattern; you never know what might spark an interesting conversation and build a greater rapport. Use your research and judgement to gauge just how subtle or bold is appropriate for the company and position you're interviewing for.
6. Prepare for the diffcult - yet obvious - questions
"What do you do in your spare time?"
"What inspired you to get into this line of work?"
"Why do you want to work here?"
"What are you weaker points?"
"Tell us about an incident where you went above and beyond expectations?"
You may not get asked these exact questions, but there's nothing more nerve-racking and awkward than having to pause and think about how to answer something so simple. They want to know you, so know yourself.
7. Have the last word
The interview is over and you've been asked if you have any questions or anything to add; this is an opportunity to close the deal. Thank them, briefly state why you're excited to work there, and if you're really ambitious cut to the chase by asking this question: "Is there anything I've said, or any reason you know of at this moment that would make you not want to hire me?". It's bold, clear and courageous. Most of all, if they do have reasons, you will know for the next time and it opens up discussion and a rebuttal to close the deal. And let's face it, you want to know.
8. Follow up with a thank you note
Don't let them forget you. Sending an email summarizing some key-points from the interview and assuring them you're very interested in the position puts you back on their radar. It can also be a chance to say the one thing you forgot to say; or reiterate the one killer thing you did say. If you need further assistance, here's a great guideline for following up after an interview.
Erica Tremblay is a master wordsmith with a dedication to helping people create their success. She writes as she lives: with a fine balance of mathematics and creative expression.