The big day is finally here. You have obviously done your part to sell the recruiter/Hiring Manager on why you should be given the opportunity to come in and make your case for why you should move on in the interview process, and potentially be there next new hire. Pump your breaks for just a moment sparky. The interview is as much about selling your soft skills and how you fit in as it is about selling them on how your experience can meet their needs.
Here are 5 underrated and underutilized tips to help you to perform your best in your next interview.
Look the Part. Forget everything else you’ve heard or read. You are judged from the minute you walk in the door and before you open your mouth. If you want to be taken seriously as a candidate for the position, invest in a nice suit. This doesn’t mean spending a ton of money for it. There are some retailers that sell really nice off the rack suits at affordable prices. Keep accessories, cologne and other fragrances to a minimum.
Stand Your Ground. Hiring managers may try to bully you because they know you’re nervous. They may even ask you questions to deliberately throw you off to see how you respond and if you can think on your feet. Stay calm, slow everything down and think about what your responses are going to be. One of the best pieces of advice that I received when I was doing interviews for the news was to speak in sound bites.
Make it All About Them. To an extent, this interview really isn’t about you. It’s about how you can help them. Don’t waste their time by telling your life story. Your mission is to prove and show them why you’re the person for the job and how you can help them solve whatever problem they are facing.
Be Yourself. While it’s important to put your best foot forward, it is equally important to be true to who you are. If you try to be what you think the employer wants you to be, you’ll both be disappointed.
Send Follow Up/Thank You Letters. Following up after an interview is how you set yourself apart from your competition. You would be amazed at how many people fail to do this simple, yet vital step in the employment process. Send an email and a hard copy note to everyone that you came in contact with thanking them for the opportunity and asking about what your next steps are.