You’re a great applicant. You’ve got the necessary experience and your resume intrigues prospective employers. Somehow, however, you lose out at the interview stage. If you’d like to ace your next job interview, you need have to convince the hiring manager you’re better than any other applicant. Here’s how:
Demonstrate your home runs
Employers need results. If you can show what you’ve achieved for a current or prior employer, you speak the language of hire. How? Who would you rather hire, an applicant who says she “increased the number of sales calls in three states by fifteen percent by reorganizing the territory, thus adding twenty-two percent in this quarter’s sales” or someone who says “I was our best sales woman.”
If the specific results grab your interest, overhaul your resume and how you answer interview questions, by asking yourself these questions:
- How have you increased profits or sales decreased costs;
- How have you increased performance or productivity or reduced time;
- What have you done made things more effective or streamlined or improved decision-making or systems.
Armed with those answers, you can demonstrate your current and past home runs.
Demonstrate your communication and interaction skills
Although the interview focuses on you, don’t let yourself lose focus on the interviewer. Listen carefully to questions, making sure you answer them directly, even if they’re multi-part questions.
Notice as well your interviewer’s body positioning and match. Matching refers to the unconscious nonverbal mirroring that happens when you like someone, as when another person has a drawl or smiles and you find ourselves drawling or smiling in return. When you’re nervous and self-focused, you may remain locked in to your own body positioning, often a guarded one. The result? – You inhibit the feeling of instinctive rapport both you and your interviewer feel.
The answer – Relax and allow yourself to match the interviewer’s body positioning. When things go well, your interviewer will match you in return.
Demonstrate your readiness
Who would you rather hire – an applicant who hits the ground running or one who takes extra hand-holding? If you want to demonstrate you’ll be reading from day one, have questions prepared, based on your reading of your prospective employer’s website, when the employer asks “any questions?”
If your interviewer has already answered the questions you came prepared with, have at least one “works every time” question in your arsenal. One of my favorites, “What are the most important things you’d like to see me accomplish in my first 30 to 60 days?”
Would you like to ace your next job interview? Demonstrate you’re an exceptional candidate.
© 2016, Lynne Curry, executive coach and author, Beating the Workplace Bully, 2015, AMACOM.