Welcome to the second part of our three part interview series! In the first part to this series, I shared how you should prepare for the interview. There are things you need to plan for leading up to the interview and on the day of the interview.
When you map these steps out and execute them, you set yourself up for success in the interview.
What happens during the interview is obviously the most important part of the process. If you have been chosen to interview, the hiring manager knows you can do the job. They are only evaluating how well you fit into the team.
The moment you meet the interviewer, you are being judged. The idea of making a great first impression has never been more true.
The best thing you can do when you meet the interviewer is smile. Your smile has a big impact on their impression of you. It should be genuine and with teeth showing.
As soon as you enter the building, you should have a smile on your face. When you greet the security guard/receptionist, they should see a big smile on your face.
Be friendly with anybody in the waiting area. First, starting off with a big smile will make it easier to maintain this mood throughout the interview.
Second, you don’t know what the interviewer looks like. What if you start off with a scowl and the interviewer has been in the lobby waiting on you? If you try to change a sour face to a smile, it won’t go over well. The frown will have already done its damage.
When you meet each interviewer, give them a big smile and handshake. Repeat their name back to them to help you remember it. Give the usual “Hi ______, It’s nice to meet you”, etc.
You may meet multiple people so it is important that you give each person just as much attention. It is easy to focus on the person with the highest rank.
Behavior During the Interview
When you get into the interview, your body language is going to speak as loudly as you do. There are some important things that you need to do, and avoid doing. According to Business Insider, body language can help “communicate your fit for the job”.
When an interviewer is speaking, maintain eye contact. This sounds like common sense, however, the trick is to not make it awkward. The key is your behavior.
While you’re making eye contact, maintain a slight smile. Nod while they are speaking to let them know you are paying attention. Don’t be afraid to add an “ok” every so often as you are following their question. These behaviors make it more conversation-like and less like you’re being interrogated.
Secondly, as you’re giving your answers continue to maintain eye contact. If there are multiple people in the room, as you’re speaking consistently move your focus from one person to the next.
When you maintain eye contact with some one, it demonstrates your confidence. It shows you are well prepared and believe in your answers.
Posture is just as important as eye contact. If you deliver the answers and are slouched over, it gives the impression that you are not interest in the position. Sitting up straight is a sign of intelligence, confidence and credibility.
The first two topics above are important in determining your personality traits and how well you interact with people. However, the next part of the interview is going to be even more important.
You will be asked to talk about all of your prior positions, but how you talk about those positions is going to make all of the difference.
When talking about your prior roles, the interviewer is going to be looking at these things:
- Similarity of your old job to the new job.
- Your communication skills.
- Your confidence about those previous roles.
This is your opportunity to sell yourself to the interviewer. Everything that the interview knows about you is from your resume. You now have the opportunity to frame that experience is a positive light.
When you are going through your resume, you do not have to give every single detail. Take the time and rehearse your response because you want to sound confident and be concise.
The Balance recommends that you focus on your accomplishments at your previous jobs. Specifically, you should focus on demonstrating that you have the skills required in the position you’re applying for.
The interviewer should leave with the impression that you have done exactly what they would need you to do in the new role. Remember, they are looking for someone to solve a problem. They should know that you are the exact person they are looking for.
You are selling yourself to the interviewers so your delivery is just as important as what you’re selling. They need to know that you can communicate clearly and concisely. This is why taking the time to practice will pay off.
You should be able to go through your entire resume in 3 to 5 minutes. Any longer, you may be rambling and may loose their attention. If you finish too quickly, it seems like you don’t have enough relative accomplishments.
These are the main components of the interview and you should prepare for them well in advance of the interview. This will be your first face to face impression on the interviewer and first impressions are very important.
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