Job interviews are typically the “make or break” factor in hiring decisions, yet candidates often don’t know what to expect ahead of time. They are left to make many spontaneous choices and hope that it reflects on them in a positive manner. Fortunately, while the details of every job interview may differ, there are commonly accepted qualities that contribute to you making a great impression on hiring managers during a job interview:
Regardless of the industry or position, the level of enthusiasm a candidate shows is generally a highly influential factor in the decision-making process. Candidates who are excited about the opportunity tend to be more likely to be engaged workers who are committed to the job and don’t leave quickly. Even if you’ve dealt with rejections, ensure that you don’t come across as hesitant in an attempt to not get your hopes up. Playing it too cool will backfire, so show your enthusiasm by doing research beforehand, giving thoughtful and detailed responses that apply specifically to the company, and asking relevant questions.
If you consider the fact that hiring managers are interviewing candidates with very similar backgrounds and qualifications, it makes sense that they may all blend together in hiring managers’ minds. Overcome this challenge by having a compelling resume with specific results you’ve achieved, as opposed to just listing previous responsibilities. Ensure your online presence is untarnished by performing an online “scrub” and removing anything that may reflect on you in an unprofessional manner. When it’s time to interview, use specific past examples to support your responses to make them more like memorable stories.
How you look when you come to an interview can partially determine the outcome of the interview. Hiring managers take into account your appearance because it can be indicative of your level of professionalism – an overly casual or sloppy appearance can make them think you didn’t really care about the opportunity. Plus, looking the part can make you feel more confident and make a stronger case for yourself. Select interview attire that is at a similar or slightly higher level of the current employees at the organization so they can visualize you working there since you look the part.
The tiebreaker for job decisions is often which candidate seems to be the best cultural fit. To overcome the obstacle of presenting yourself as a cultural fit, be observant of the demeanor of your interviewer and pay close attention to the underlying implications when they ask questions or describe the job. This will help you determine the culture, such as laid back versus fast-paced or traditional versus progressive. Tailor your responses to demonstrate that you’d be someone they could picture themselves working with.
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