A job interview is like a staff meeting crossed with a first date.
It not only represents a stressful workplace experience, it's also a stressful social experience. As if meeting a bunch of strangers and answering pointed questions about your past achievements wasn't nerve-wracking enough, you also have to try to get those strangers to like you. And you only have a few minutes to make that connection.
Here are a few basic strategies to connect with your interviewers:
Despite the mental gymnastics of the interview process, don't turn dour or self-conscious. Stay in the moment. Make yourself smile.
Remember that people aren't just picking a task-completion machine. They're choosing a co-worker. Make them feel comfortable with you personally.
Remember the Rules of Engagement
Think back to all the advice your parents gave you when you were a slouching, mumbling teenager: “sit up straight,” “make eye contact,” “enunciate your words.” Keep those recommendations in mind as you walk into the interview room.
This may seem like obvious advice, but it can be hard to remember in the moment. You'll be nervous. You'll feel pressed for time. You'll get tripped up by the dreaded “what's your biggest weakness” question. Despite these distractions, make sure you maintain positive body language and eye contact.
Make people feel that you want to be there. Indicate excitement about the position, and about the company in general. Before heading into the interview, learn about the business and flash some of that knowledge during the meeting.
The goal: Signal that you'll bring an energetic and engaged attitude every day. After all, if you can't stir some enthusiasm for a 20-minute interview, what are the chances you'll do it for 40 hours a week?
Make It Personal
You want to be remembered. That means turning yourself from a set of resume bullet points into a fully formed person within the short window of an interview.
Make sure to communicate who you are, beyond the basic qualifications detailed in your resume. You want something to jog the interviewers’ memories when they review candidates later. “That's the person from Chicago” or “that's the person who traveled to Brazil last summer” or “that’s the person who loves running marathons.”
A personal connection through common ground or shared experiences and interests can go a long way to make sure that you stand out from the crowd.
Interviews represent the most stressful part of the job search process. Working with a great staffing partner, such as United Personnel, helps cut through the usual red tape, reducing the pressure on you and driving your career forward.
Contact United Personnel to find out more.