Interviews can be a very exciting yet very intimidating invitation. If you are asked to interview for a position, it means you look promising and interesting on paper. Bravo--that’s a great first step. Paper can't tell all, however; landing a job requires supreme interview skills. Below are my top 6 tips on how to really “wow” the recruiter or hiring manager for any position. If you are currently a Cloudbakers candidate, you've found a great read before your first interview!
Here we go--your 6 keys to success:
- Know what the company does. If you didn't do sufficient research to be able to give the interviewer a quick blurb about whatever they do, shame on you. Employers spend countless hours trying to find the right employee, the least you can do is spend an hour or two familiarizing yourself with the company. If you are really passionate about wanting the position, study not only the company, but also their industry and some competitors. Well-resarched candidates are expected, but an extremely informed candidate who can provide original insight about the industry is impressive. A company's
website is a terrific resource.
- Break down the job description. Often people ask what a typical workday looks like. This an un-original question, and employers get tired of hearing (and answering) it. There is a far more sophisticated way to find out more information about the day-to-day grind. Ask about a specific point or sentence in the job description from where you applied. Do some research about the tools you might be using, and ask your interviewer approximately how much time each day you might be using each tool. Every minute of the interview is another opportunity to show how prepared you are. Remember--often times job descriptions are made vague on purpose to lure a larger candidate pool. This means employers are expecting to explain the position in further detail, but I assure you they'll want to see how you go about asking.
- Be enthusiastic. Whether it’s your dream job or not, be excited about whatever experience this interview may provide you with. If you are truly pumped, the recruiter will feed off that energy and in turn be able to give you a more engaging interview. Believe it or not, interviewers prefer to have a conversation rather than a question and answer session. Think about it--interviewing is all about connecting with and understanding people. This means that the person interviewing you is probably a people person, and will respond well to someone who is genuinely interested in connecting with them. Show them that you're excited just to be talking to them, regardless of the professional context.
Ask questions. Allow the interviewer to talk, but make sure you ask questions where you need clarification. Actively engaging during and after conversation shows a genuine sense of interest and understanding of what is going on. Most times interviewers ask if you have questions... the answer better be yes! Make sure you have a number of thoughtful, unique questions prepared. Again, you cannot over-prepare here. The last thing you want is to only have prepared a couple questions and then have them get answered in the interviewer's opening bit, before you get to ask.
Be authentic. Be Yourself. This is a motto we live by at Cloudbakers, but it also works throughout the interview process. You are “selling” yourself to an interviewer, so you obviously want to showcase your talents and unique experiences in a desirable way. That being said, be careful not to inflate the truth, and certainly don’t pretend to be someone you are not. On one hand, interviewers can pick up on falsehood rather easily. On the other hand, even if you fool them, would you really want to be hired for a position fit for the 'fake' you?
Send a Thank You. This cannot be stressed enough. Send a thank you note to whoever conducted your interview. Refer to them, or anyone you talked to, by name in your email. It doesn’t have to be anything long or fancy, but a simple gesture like this goes a long way. Hint: sometimes this may be a soft requirement among team members when edging out close competition among candidates.
Follow these steps and you are guaranteed to make a favorable impression on the person you are talking with. If you start to panic, remember to PLAY: Prepare, Listen, Ask questions, and be You. Good luck, and stay tuned for resume tips in my next blog post!
Interested in interviewing for a position at Cloudbakers?Originally published on November 30, 2015