Job interviews are like blind dates: You dress the part, practice the right things to say, try to project the best version of yourself, and, sometimes, you walk away thinking you'll get a second call only to find out the feeling wasn't mutual. So what went wrong?
Ryan Robinson, an entrepreneur and marketer at Creative Lab pondered the common pitfalls of job interviews in a recent article for Inc. Having spent his career researching companies and doing his fair share of interviews, Robinson has put together a guide to acing a job interview. Here are our top six take-home lessons for landing the job of your dreams.
Researching the company is a well-covered meeting tip but few people take a step further to find out about the interviewer. Robinson points out that one-third of hiring managers know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they'll make a job offer, so any insight into their temperament, values, and personality is a huge help. Scroll through the interviewer's LinkedIn profile and any interviews or articles they've been featured in. If they have produced work, take a moment to read it and make a mental note of talking points you could raise during your meeting.
Hiring managers want to know how your skills might be an asset to their team. When asked about your experience, rather than taking them through a chronological journey of your career (yawn), structure your response based on relevant skills. Yes, you might have started your career as a P.A. but if you're no longer a junior it's not worth mentioning. Respect your interviewer's time and keep your talk to career highlights only.
According to Robinson, this is a must. "I'm surprised at how many people show up to an interview without any copies of their résumé, leaving it to chance that the person they're meeting with was given a copy," he says.
His rule? Bring one copy of your résumé for every person you're meeting with, and pack an extra so you're not caught off guard.
Yes, switching your phone on silent during an interview is a no-brainer, but don't forget notifications. This is your opportunity to show the hiring manager that you're serious about the job, and a phone that lights up every five minutes with Facebook notifications undercuts your professionalism.
Consider this before your next interview: Thirty-eight per cent of interviewers say they've dismissed candidates because of a lack of smiling and engagement during the meeting, according to Robinson. Remember, hiring managers consider cultural fit just as important as skill set when it comes to choosing the right candidate. Robinson says to use the triple nod rule to affirm the interviewer and show that you're listening.
"Don't allow there to be any ambiguity about whether or not you actually want the job," says Robinson. If you feel excited about the role, at the end of the interview close the conversation by reiterating your passion. You've just spent the meeting telling them why you're a good fit for the job, but sharing your genuine excitement about the role gives the hiring manager an emotional reason. Don't worry, you've got this!