There are many ways to wow an interviewer. How you do it will depend very much on the context of the interview. What makes the difference between landing the job and just missing out will vary from situation to situation. Whatever your circumstances, here are 12 tips to get you started.
Make Contact Beforehand
Look at what correspondence and communication you can have with the interviewer before the interview. Find out their name and look them up on LinkedIn or look up their email address on the company website. Make first contact with them by asking if there’s anything that would be useful for you to bring to the interview.
Be on Time
What does it say about you as a potential employee if you aren’t even punctual for the job interview? Check out your route there beforehand. Aim to be early, even if it means you may have to wait around for ages.
Make a Good First Impression
The first seconds of your face-to-face relationship with the interviewer are important. Make eye contact, stand up straight and firmly shake hands.
Project Your Brand
Project your personal brand by thinking about what you want to be showing the interviewer. What do you what them to know about you?
Listen and listen hard. Don’t just listen to what the interviewer’s really asking with each question but start listening even before the interview begins. Listen to the interviewer as you’re walking with them from reception to the interview room. Listen to their small talk. Listen to their footsteps whilst walking alongside and slightly behind them to see how fast they’re going. This will give you a sense of what they’re about and at what pace they like to operate.
If someone’s talking about something they’re passionate about, their sense and perceptions are heightened and you can see their energy and enthusiasm in their face. Remembering why you applied for this job in the first place will help you naturally show that you’re delighted to be here, in the interview.
Answer the Question
Answer the interview questions you’re asked, not the ones you’ve prepared answers for or are expecting. If you don’t understand a question, ask the interviewer to clarify it for you.
Seek Further Clarification
Even if you understand the question, you can ask how much detail the interviewer would like from you, how long they would like you to talk about this and if there is something specific they want to know about. It’s fine to ask these questions as it’ll help to make your answer more relevant.
Show Your Value
Show your value to the interviewer by being clear about what you have to offer the employer. Ask, if you’re not sure, what it will take for you to be successful at this company and then explain how you meet those standards.
Show Your Work
Show that you’ve done your homework. Use some of your answers to indicate that you’ve done your research on the company. This will show both that you’re genuinely passionate about the organization and its work and that you’re intelligent and professional enough to prepare properly for interviews.
Offer Your Help
Try to find out beforehand what’s important to the interviewer as an individual that you could help them with. It may be that you can introduce them to people in the industry that they want to meet. It could be that you could send them some information that would be of use to them. This will make them even more likely to talk about you to HR in positive terms.
At the end of the interview, say thank you. Say how delighted you were to have the chance to meet the interviewer and that you would be delighted to work with them.
About the author
Simon North is the Founder of Position Ignition, one of the UK’s leading career consultancy companies which created the Career Ignition Club, a leading-edge online careers support and learning platform. Follow him @PosIgnition