Going in for a job interview? Considering that only a small percentage of applicants get to the interview stage, you should feel good about where you are. While you obviously have the qualifications and experience to get your foot in the door, what can you do during the interview that will help you stand out in the mind of the Hiring Manager? Here are four things you can do during your interview that will leave a good impression.
Show That You’ve Done Your Research
Hiring Managers are impressed by candidates who have done their research for the interview. Showing that you’ve taken the time to understand the company and culture, and knowing the specifics of the job, delivers a solid impression. When answering questions, be specific about parts of the job you’ll excel at, and illustrate how you’ll fit in with the culture. If the company is launching any initiatives, or had any positive news in the press, add it to the context of your answers.
BONUS: Doing a deeper dive on the company and their expectations are for the job will help you feel more confident in your answers. This will cut down on your stress level significantly when going into the interview.
Have Some Good Follow-Up Questions Ready to Go
While a majority of your interview will involve answering questions about your strengths, weaknesses, and experience, there will be a portion of the interview at the end where you’ll be expected to ask the Hiring Manager questions. Having good follow-up questions to ask is extremely important, as the Hiring Manager will use this to gauge your interest in the job and your ability to think on your feet. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in the interview is to say that you have no follow-up questions, so be ready. You can find in-depth info on what types of questions you should be asking here.
Show Your Excitement for the Opportunity
It is in the best interests of a Hiring Manager to fill a position with someone who is excited about their opportunity. Engaged employees get more quality work done, and adding someone who wants to be there brings a positive attitude to their department. While you shouldn’t go over the top (no jumping on the couch), showing that you genuinely want the opportunity is always beneficial.
Be Pleasant… to Everyone
As you prepare for the face-to-face portion of your meeting, it’s important to remember that your interview starts the moment you walk in the door. From that moment, consider every interaction to be part of your interview. Hiring Managers almost always ask receptionists and other co-workers about their impressions of a candidate. You may only have limited interaction with them, but if you come off as cold or unprofessional, it will be enough to eliminate you from consideration.
In addition, be ready to make small talk with the Hiring Manager. It may be a generic conversation about traffic or the weather, but be ready to reply with a short, pleasant answer. Do some research on the Hiring Manager’s background and share common interests to make a valuable connection. The key is to keep it professional, light, and don’t broach red flag subjects.