A good interviewer is aware that you are nervous, and often helps you to relax. Although a job interview can be stressful, many report that their interviews were actually enjoyable. But be aware, the interviewer is looking at you: your presentation, your appearance, your communication skills, your qualifications, and your personality.
Your presentation include our manners, your deportment, your self confidence, your ability to meet others graciously with a positive attitude; no one wants to work with a negative person.
Your appearance: are you dressed appropriately for the interview situation? Did you remember to ask what clothing would be appropriate? Is your hair properly styled for the situation? Remember, no strange colors or crazy cuts. Got tattoos? Cover them. Look professional, and in line with the requirements of the job.
I was speaking with a young man recently who works at a software company with a very informational dress code. Even though the company has an informational dress code — shorts and a “T” shirt - he indicated that the company is disappointed if a job candidate does not show up in dress clothes. It is a sign of respect for yourself as well as for the company. You are putting your best foot forward. You want to create a good first impression.
Regarding your communication skills, frequently the first question asked is something like “Tell me about yourself.” or some form of that question. Rather than blather on for 20 minutes on your early life, tell the interviewer what he/she wants to hear: How your background would be of benefit to the company and the position for which you are interviewing.
Strong communication skills are a major criterion for anyone applying for a job. You will be communicating with your fellow workers, managers, and perhaps customers or clients. Do you get your point across? Are you able to make a presentation in front of a group of people? Let the interviewer know that.
Can you prepare and deliver a professional PowerPoint presentation? Are you an excellent writer, skilled at preparing policies, procedures, writing marketing or advertising presentations? How would your communication skills be helpful for this particular position?
When it comes to your qualifications, it is important that you sell yourself. Become actively involved with the interview questions. Use specific examples, stories, and incidents from your professional life that illustrate your effectiveness on the job, and particularly for the position for which you are interviewing. Look the Interviewer in the eye. Use your hands and body to illustrate what you mean. Smile. Add a little humor – not too much – when you can.
Not sure you have any examples, stories, or incidents that are applicable? Nonsense. Everything that has happened to you in your professional life is a story. You have hundreds of stories that illustrate your skills and abilities. What if the interviewer asked for a story about when you handled an unhappy customer. Do you have a story that outlines your ability to handle difficult customers, clients, and or fellow co-workers?
Practice your stories. Rehearse them. Strengthen them and make them better. You should have at least eight specific stories that illustrate your abilities.
A story can illustrate your ability to turn someone’s negative attitude into a positive. It may illustrate your personality, your self-confidence, your management ability, and so on. In other words, one story illustrates several of your strengths and qualifications, not just one. This is one of the most important reasons to use examples, stories, and incidents.
Do these stories need to be earth-shaking examples of times when you saved the world as if you were Superman or Wonder Woman? No. Very few people have stories at that level. Your stories need to describe times when you were effective every day on the job. Remember, that is what your potential employer wants, someone who is effective every day on the job.
Your personality is an important factor. Interviewers always look for someone that they could work with, and enjoy being around. Are you that kind of person? Do you display a pleasing personality? Do the positive aspects of your personality come through in the interview process? Are you someone that others would like to work with?
What are the personality traits that you look for in others? A smile. Positive thinking? Humor? A little self deprecation? The ability to look at things from the other person’s point of view? Do these personality traits come through during the interview? Are you likeable?
At the end of the interview, deliver a closing statement. “Mr. Interviewer, I want to say Thank You, and that I am very interested in this position. My qualifications of (summarize your strengths for the position) make the position an excellent fit for the company as well as for myself. I would really like to work here, and am anxious to move to the next step in the hiring process.”
Work on your “Closing Statement.” If you were the interviewer, what would you want to hear? Would you want reassurance from the individual that they would be effective and productive almost immediately? That you will put in an honest days work each day? That you are organized and accurate in your work? That you will not call in sick frequently, not arrive late, leave early, refuse overtime, and constantly ask for raises? That you are not a quitter, a complainer, or braggart? That you show pride in your work, are honest, and will work well with your fellow co-workers.
Assure the interviewer that hiring you would be an excellent decision on their part. Ace the interview, win the job That is what it is all about.