Who gets hired ultimately comes down to a feeling. Position yourself as a solution to their perceived problems, and desiring a career versus a job. Tips to succeed in a job interview:
- Know yourself in terms of your skills and traits, and be able to prove you have them with concrete specific examples.
- Research the employer, their products, their competition, their industry, their corporate culture and values, their financial condition, charitable work, TV and radio commercials, print ads, and their web presence (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, Twitter, etc.). This depth of research will help you to communicate you want a career with this company versus a job.
- Bring up salary ideally after they’ve made an offer.
- Know the minimum salary you will accept (yearly, monthly, weekly) or you walk away.
- Only talk about past bosses, companies, clients, co-workers, etc. in positive or neutral terms.
- Dress appropriately for the job as if you worked there, or a little dressier. No cologne and minimal makeup and jewelry.
- Stand to greet everyone you meet, and use an effective handshake, matching the other person’s.
- Have a list of several questions you want to get answered.
- Be pleasant, positive, and polite to everyone you meet, the receptionist might be the tie-breaker.
- Have extra copies of your resume, references, and any other documents that may be useful.
- Match the interviewer’s rate of speech, volume of speech, and buzz words.
- Keep your internal conversation positive, assuming whatever you say in your mind they’re hearing.
- Walk through the door 10-15 minutes before the interview begins.
- Make sure your car is clean inside and out.
- Make sure your briefcase is clean and organized, containing only what you need for the interview.
- Don’t bring up advancement possibilities and promotions too much, versus focusing on how you could fulfill their current needs.
- Let them know you want the job, and summarize at the end of the interview why you’re a great choice.
- Send a thank you note to every appropriate person you met, making each one different.
Another concept, is that the body tells the truth, and whatever we’re saying internally can affect how we communicate externally. So if you’re saying in your mind “This interviewer is a jerk,” “This company is pathetic,” “They’ll never hire someone like me,” “I hope they don’t ask me about …,” or “I’m desperate and I need any job,” assume they’re sensing it. Negative self-talk can cause tension in the face, fidgeting, head shaking side to side versus nodding up and down, and weakness in the voice. Since the hiring decision ultimately comes down to a feeling, these physical examples at the subconscious level can create negative feelings. Therefore only say things internally that are positive and that you’d be okay being heard externally.
For over 15 years I’ve been a seminar leader and executive coach, after a career in the entertainment business doing product placement and production, and where I did a lot of hiring. Some of my topics are “Job Interviewing,” “Career Transition,” “Negotiation,” “Presentation Skills,” and “Media Skills,” for companies such as Microsoft, Dole Foods, Orange Coast College, and Hilton Hotels. I’m also the author of the book “Anatomy of Success,” which is on goal setting, communication skills, self-awareness, relationship compatibility, and motivation, with examples throughout the book on getting a job.