Interviews are increasingly important, as they will make or break your dream job opportunity. How can you make sure that every interview is incredible? Here are 11 traits of people who constantly rock their job interviews.
1. They Do Their Research
Research your potential employer’s website, blog, social media, press, quarterly reports and anything else you can find. Bringing concrete numbers to the table and understanding every part of a business shows that you’re interested and star interviewees know that.
2. They Clean Their Social Media Profiles
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, 92% of companies use social media for their recruitment, with one in three employers rejecting candidates based on something they found in their social profiles.
3. They Don’t Change Up Their Routines
Instead of drinking lots of coffee or taking medication you think might help you, make sure that you stick to your regular routine. That espresso shot will just make you jittery, nervous and overenthusiastic.
4. They Use the “Iceberg Strategy”
Just like in an effective opening paragraph for a paper, the “iceberg strategy” can be used effectively here.
How does it work? Expose enough about you that you are interesting and the employer wants to hire you, but not so much that you only talk about yourself and bore your interviewer. Combine your professional and personal life so that you discuss how you have been shaped by your experiences and how they have brought you to this perfect potential job today.
If you want more help with this, check out contributor Peyton Murry’s advice on crafting a rockstar elevator pitch here.
5. They Put Thought Into Their Appearance and General “Vibe”
In order to be taken seriously, your mannerisms as well as appearance must be impeccable. Wear something that is special to you that could be a conversation starter; maybe it’s a piece of jewelry from your latest travels or something that represents your culture or heritage.
Additionally, before the interview, find a mirror and repeat these mantras to yourself: “I am confident, I am strong and I will achieve anything and everything I want.”
6. They Focus on Showing What They Can Bring to the Table
We’ve talked to recruiters in the past, and they’ve told us that they look for professionalism, appearance, behavior-based answers (“In my last role, I did…”) and straightforward results.
By combining your past experiences with research into the company and where it’s going, you’ll show a hiring manager what kind of impact you can make for his or her team in the future.
For example, you could say something like, “Through my leadership as Vice President of the Habitat for Humanity club on campus, I was able to use my love for community service to create a strong organization dedicated to the benefit of others. We raised over $10,000 and built over 100 homes under my leadership, and given those experiences, I think I could add a lot to the development team here as a Fundraising Intern.”
7. They Set Themselves Up as a Team Player
It’s a well-known fact that the best teams are comprised of a number of different personalities who bring a variety of talents to the table. Before heading into an interview, think to yourself, what personality traits do I bring to the table, and how will they benefit this specific workplace and my future team’s goals?
8. They Come Overly Prepared
Always carry an extra resume (I would even say three or four so that you can distribute multiple if asked!), and come with a pen and paper as well as lots of questions (here’s a great list of what to ask your interviewer!).
Make sure you’ve already talked to your references, so that they know to potentially expect a call or email, and release your college transcript information if an employer has mentioned needing it in the future. All of these steps will keep any hiccups from forming during your application process and make you seem better than the rest.
9. They Recognize Their Flaws and Pose Solutions
Rather than saying something like, “I have a hard time with being a perfectionist” (all employers groan at this), talk about an actual area of improvement and show how you’ve worked on it.
For example, say something like, “In the past I have struggled with my time management; I have a tendency to want to do a lot, and sometimes it leads to too much to do and not enough time to create quality work. To combat this issue, I’ve done a number of things: I created a color-coded calendar to keep track of deadlines, and I also create daily and weekly to-do lists to track my progress. Furthermore, I ask a simple question before I sign onto anything now: ‘What does this position do that I’m not getting from my other commitments?’”
For more information on how to rock these questions about weaknesses, check out this article in our WayUp Guide.
10. They Reveal Their Experience With Questions
At the end when it’s your turn to ask some questions, incorporate your experiences to further show you’ve paid attention and done your homework.
For example, you could say something like, “I wrote as a contributor for WayUp and received 5,000 shares on one of my articles. Will this position provide more opportunities for me to use blogging and social media management techniques?”
11. They Stay in Touch
Grabbing the interviewer’s business card and sending a thank-you email (or better yet, a handwritten note!) will not only show that you are interested but that you also take a hiring manager’s time and effort seriously.
Pro tip: Allow yourself to be filled with gratitude as if you have already received the job, and imagine yourself being congratulated for your acceptance as you write your thank-you note!
To recap, make sure you are prepared for your interview with data and knowledge about your strengths, and recognize how you can use your flaws to grow.