In Response to Ryan Robinson | How to Get Hired: 16 Steps to the Perfect Interview
1) Research the Company.
I like the fact that Ryan has included this as the number one point.
If you’re one of the select few who take the time to check out the company before the initial interview — then you’re already winning! And I hope you’re just as shocked as we were that this even needed to be mentioned.
According to Robinson, ’47% of hiring managers have eliminated candidates after an interview because they had little or no knowledge of the company’.
Why bother applying for the job when you don’t even have a clue what the company does? No business manager in their right mind would hire someone that doesn’t bother to research the company.
2) Find Out Who You’re Interviewing With and Research Them, Too.
Unless you’ve walked straight into whichever job you wanted, it’s fair to say that an interviewer’s personal preferences could also affect how well you do.
‘Cultural fit’ has become one of the most buzzed-about terms in recruitment. No longer can you just turn up to your job and get on with the set tasks. Instead, companies want to understand you. They want to get to know your personality and how it’ll ‘fit’ in with the rest of the team. Do you have an ‘interests’ section on your CV? If not, make sure you add it. When you go to the interview, be prepared to talk about your hobbies and interests. Even better if your interviewer shares any of them.
Still not convinced? ’43% of hiring managers report that cultural fit is the single most influential factor in determining which candidate gets the job’.
This means evaluating all communications with your recruiter; are they formal or informal with you? Are their emails branded and if so, what personality comes through? Similar to the above step, make sure you research the company including their employees.
3) Prepare Creative, Insightful Questions and Craft Your Personal Story.
We all know that moment when the interviewer flips it around onto you and asks, ’So do you have any questions’? There’s that horrible feeling of your stomach dropping if you’re not prepared.
But there’s a difference between asking ‘What daily tasks are involved?’ and asking something genuinely credible. Don’t forget, your hirers are looking for an expert; someone they can feel totally confident in.
So keep in mind whenever you ask a question — is it going to undermine your fantastic interview?
During the interview
4) Dress for the Job.
Nowadays it’s a lot harder to decide what to wear for an interview. The more emphasis we place on openness and creativity in work environments, the more people ‘physically’ relax. And this has made it all the more difficult to decide how best to present yourself.
Robinson notes ‘over 33% of hiring managers say they know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they’ll make a job offer to the candidate’. Alongside that, ’70% say they’ve eliminated candidates after an interview because they were too fashionable or trendy’.
That’s a lot of pressure during those initial 90 seconds! So make sure you understand the company’s approach first. Don’t feel afraid to ask your correspondent beforehand.
5) Bring Two Extra Copies of Your Résumé.
Again, like point number… how can you forget this?!
If you were the interviewer and your candidate walked in underprepared, this wouldn’t fill you with confidence. Always come prepared.
6) Perfect Your Handshake.
This may seem trivial to some. But not according to ’26% of hiring managers that say they’ve eliminated candidates after a weak handshake’.
You’re presenting yourself as a strong, credible candidate. So let your handshake communicate this as well.
7) Turn Your Phone Off and Arrive Five to Ten Minutes Early.
Thank you to Ryan for mentioning this! Even with silencers and vibrate settings, phones always have to be turned off when you’re in a meeting.
No one wants to see a potential candidate faffing around in their pockets, searching to check their emails or texts. Get to the company building 5–10 minutes early, with your phone already turned off, and nothing to distract you. You’re there for one purpose and one purpose only. To get that job!
8) Use Confident Posture.
Now you may feel like this is your Mum speaking, reiterating to you again to ‘stand up straight,’ and ‘stop slouching’.
But she was right! You want to convey your confidence, not just in your interview — but also how you walk in and out of the meeting as well. How you position yourself physically affects how you interact with your interviewers. On your way to the meeting, practise your posture. Sit up straight on the bus, roll your shoulders back, and keep your back arched.
Just to add, ’33% of hiring managers say they’ve eliminated a candidate after an interview because of bad posture’.
9) Use the Triple Nod When Listening.
Now this is a tactic you can use to seem engaged for practically every future conversation.
No one wants to talk with someone if they feel the other person is disengaged or completely bored. And you’d be even more annoyed if someone was bored while talking about your company! ’38% of hiring managers say they’ve eliminated candidates after an interview because of a lack of smiling and engagement during conversation’.
Having a group of positive, enthusiastic employees is one of the biggest benefits for any business. You want people in your team who don’t just enhance your company culture, but also champion this. So proving you have ‘stellar people skills’ will only stand to benefit you.
10) Use Hand Gestures While Speaking.
Now we’re not saying become flamboyant, but actively engage your interviewers by drawing them into your conversation using your actions.
Using a ‘healthy amount’ of hand gestures illustrates your points and reinforces your communications.
11) Maintain Eye Contact.
’67% of hiring managers say they’ve eliminated candidates after an interview because they failed to make enough eye contact’.
Here I have some sympathy. It’s difficult if you’re feeling nervous, and you feel as if the person in front of you is using their eyes to drill right down into your soul. Unless you’re brimming with confidence, no one wants to look their interviewer in the eye. But you have to do it. According to studies, people who have strong eye contact are perceived as being more persuasive — something which every company wants.
Whenever your interviewer emphasises a point or asks you a question directly, keep your head held high and maintain that eye contact for 3 seconds (at least!) at a time.
Just don’t end up looking like a starstruck David Mitchell!
12) Get the Email Address of Everyone You Speak With.
If you’ve talked with people who you don’t already have a contact for, get it! Also, don’t ever just assume the email naming conventions — you never know if there’s a Jane D and a Jane E!
Even if you don’t end up getting the job, you never know whether their contact information will be useful in the future.
13) Ask When to Expect a Decision and With Whom to Follow-Up.
This is amongst one of the most important points. Too often people walk out of an interview feeling as if they’ve aced it, only to never hear back from the company again.
And why? Because they were disengaged and didn’t bother asking when to follow up and who with.
14) If You Want the Job, Say So!
It’s a brilliant feeling when you’re interviewing for the dream job. You can almost taste the opportunity. You’ve sat there for half an hour, desperately trying to convince them you’re the right person for this job.
So why does it feel like overkill when you utter the words ‘I want this job’? Stop thinking like this, and don’t leave any ambiguity towards your feelings for the role. Simply confirming that you’re keen to pursue the role can sometimes be the winning factor in your interviewer’s assessment.
15) Send a Follow-Up Thank You Email!
As Ryan says, ‘before you go to bed on the date you had your interviews, be sure to send a brief, personalised thank you email to everyone you met with earlier in the day’.
If there was any hint of doubt in your interviewers’ minds, the follow-up email is a surefire way to convince them you’re the sound choice. Briefly, touch upon any mutual interests or key points you discussed earlier in the day, and solidify your great impression in their minds.
16) Follow-Up if You Don’t Hear Back Soon (One Week).
Sometimes things can crop up in businesses, so interviewers don’t get back to you when they said they would. Sometimes it could just be you.
Either way, not everyone will contact you at the exact time they stated. Obviously don’t hassle the interviewer, but if you haven’t heard back within a few business days, get back in touch. Keep your follow-up short and sweet, and offer value rather than being pushy.
Ryan Robinson has brilliantly separated out all the stages in an interview in which so many people take for granted, or feel unimportant. Break down the process, follow these steps and who knows…Maybe this will be the year you land your dream job.
Originally published at www.nucreativetalent.co.uk.