Having sat though 100s of interviews as an interviewer I find many candidates making simple mistakes. In spite of all the information available on how to present one self in the best light 3 out of 4 candidates still miss out on the simple stuff.
If you are attending an interview here are five tips which will help in outshining your competition. If you expect this to be Rocket science – you might be disappointed – coz it isn’t. A minor change in can smoothen the path to your aspired role.
I would like to work with people whom I like to have around. Yes there would be that one person whom I would like to have around who gets on my nerves with his criticisms and advice but I so believe in his capabilities, good sense and that he has the companies interests in mind that I totally want to have him around. But he is only one. I don’t have the band width to tolerate more sour pusses around my work place. There has to be a balance. And if I don’t get the vibe that in an interview you are unable to come across as likeable then having you around the office is not a risk I am going to consider.
So I suggest you smile, make eye contact, sit forward on your chair, and be enthusiastic.
You may have solid qualifications but if you don’t seem like an enjoyable person to work with I am probably not going to hire you.
Solid qualifications and experience take you into the door but then so are all the others who have been shortlisted.
That includes having something not very flattering to say about your current or previous employer. Okay so they are bad and that is the reason you want to leave but grow out of that negativity. It is not going to help our organisation any way. Coz this interview is about this firm and your value to this firm. Any other way you look at it might give you only a very skewed picture.
Come to think of it, this being an interview you are displaying your best possible of view of you, and if that comprises of foul mouthing your employer – after a few months you will be a pain to have around.
Now you might feel you are justified responding to a question like why do you want to leave with and answer that berates the employer or your boss or your con-workers. But here too you can be creative in how you frame your response. Be positive be your mojo. Instead of saying that your boss is a nerve wracking micro manager – You could say that you are keen to shoulder more responsibility and freedom.
On the same lines avoid framing responses in a self negating way. For instance as an HR you haven’t handled a training role- so don’t say I have never handled training. Instead say that you have not managed that role but have trained new hires and created several training manuals. Avoid using the word haven’t or I don’t instead share applicable experience. Human mind especially the tired interviewer mind has a tendency to latch on to negative sound bites and rule you out. Don’t play into their hands.
Even more important don’t get caught. Incase you do remember – “Don’t Lie” I come across resumes which mention experience and when asked to go deeper candidates feign ignorance. It looks bad. Getting your resume shortlisted is not going to help you in getting the job. How you perform during the interview is. So avoid un truths – especially in your resume.
Ask for the Job. Maybe not right away as you start the interview. Don’t ask for the job upfront. That can be a downer. Instead based on the way the interview progresses ask for it with specifics. Explain the pluses you bring to the table. For instance : I work well with teams, or I enjoy travel or I thrive on unsupervised roles. Ask for the job and share facts to substantiate.
Ask questions that matter to you. Here are a few questions that you could ask. Focus on the role the responsibilities , your reporting is there a clear reporting. As the interview progresses you could go deeper on the reporting style. There is really no limit to the questions that you could ask but keep it relevant to the job role and avoid redundancy. No point is asking something which is available on line – that actually shows lack of preparation. And a word of caution no when to stop. Observe signals from the interviewer.
Every interviewer likes a brief follow-up note , just saying thanks and acknowledging the time spent. A reference to the discussion during the interview about something specific that was shared a common like or a new technique could be mentioned to create a more complete follow up. After all it is these small meaningful interactions which trigger even the most professional relationships.
These five tips will ensure a small sailing through any interview you face.
Prakash Francis is a Talent Expert based in Bangalore.