THREE KEY THINGS TO DO AT INTERVIEW
You could ask fifty different people and get fifty different answers on this one but here are three of the main key points that I’d suggest are major game changers. If you can integrate these behaviours into your interview performance (or encourage your candidates to do so), you’ll get the right result whether it be a yes or a no.
1. ENGAGE PHYSICALLY
This goes beyond ‘firm handshake’ and ‘make eye contact’ – I’m going to assume (risky, I know!) that we all know those two absolute basics. Let’s talk about how else we can react and engage physically with our interviewer.
Body language is the key here. Be aware of what yours says about you. Not to the point of distraction, because that’ll make you fidget constantly and not focus on what you’re saying – but do check what your body is doing now and then. Arms folded? Do you mean to appear defensive?… Leaning back? Is “relaxed” the impression you want to create right now? If so, great. If not, do something about it…. Leaning forward? Does your posture say “aggressive” or “enthusiastic”? It’s a fine line to tread.
It’s also worth taking the body language of the interviewer into consideration but don’t fall into the habit of mirroring it “just because”, as many are told. If the interviewer is sitting rigidly with arms folded, replicating this can lead to an icy environment. Your job here is to break down the barriers and you can start by being the change you want to see in the room, so affect a more open, accommodating posture and keep going. Thaw the room out!
Keep your hands to yourself though – literal physical interaction is a big no-no, as you’ll see my recruitment horror story this Friday…
2. BE YOU
Ever been on a date and tried to talk yourself up, self-aggrandize to make yourself sound like a can’t miss, must have prospect? People find it even easier to do at interview but it’s a bad idea.
Go back to the dating comparison – is the glorious person you’re selling on the first date the same person your prospective partner will find on the sofa next month, guzzling Cheetos and playing Call of Duty? That’s a recipe for disaster (the embellishment, not the Cheetos and Call of Duty)
It’s the same principle at interview – don’t give the interviewer what you think he wants to see or hear – give him you. Because getting a job through “playing a part” means you’ve got to continue playing that part indefinitely and the mask will slip at some point and, when it does, it rarely ends well.
And if you don’t get an offer, isn’t it better that it’s because you genuinely wouldn’t have fit into the company rather than because “fake you” wouldn’t have worked?
3. ALLAY RESERVATIONS
Towards the end of an interview, it’s pretty standard for the client to ask whether you have any questions. Don’t pass up this opportunity because it can be the difference between an offer and a rejection.
Asking an interviewer whether he has any reservations about your ability to do the job or ability to fit into the company (and separate the two for sure because they’re different things) and impressing upon him that you are keen to hear his genuine thoughts will give you a better idea as to how likely you are to get an offer and can sometimes get you closer to a win.
If the interviewer offers you any constructive thoughts, first things first – thank him for his candour. Then you have a chance to follow up. But don’t instantly leap to your own defence. If he actually has some fair points, you can attempt to point out other areas which you feel may compensate but to disagree simply for the sake of disagreeing is foolish.
However, there are sometimes misunderstandings during interview and he may offer you some points that you can easily counter. If so, you’ve done well because he was going to walk away with the wrong impression of you – now, he’s got the full picture and can make his final decision in possession of all the facts.
What key point would YOU say is paramount to getting the best result at interview?
I’d love to know – email me at email@example.com and a selection of comments will be published in a follow up article next week.