I have heard this saying many times in my life, and recently I have realized this is the reason why I am in the recruiting industry. One thing at this point in my life I have never been good at is selling myself to a potential employers! I know for those of you who have trusted me to help find you a new job, this might scare you a little. Some of you may be saying; "I knew that's why this guy could not find me a job!" The reality is because of this fact, I am MUCH better at my job. I have done the wrong things in many interviews in the past, and with these interview bloopers, I am able to steer my candidates in the right direction.
PUNCTUAL: One thing I have always been good at, which is crucial to starting an interview on the right foot, is coming to the interview on time. If you are late, you are wasting the time of the person who has decided to interview you for the open position at the company. Think about this for a minute, if you are the one who is late for a job interview that is an immediate strike against your application. If the hiring manager is having a tough time deciding between two or three candidates, then this strike against you will be an easy disqualification and will end you up in the NO pile.
CONFIDENCE: Here is an opportunity to show why you would be the best choice for the position. You may want to avoid one of my interview answers in the past. After being asked why I am the best fit for the position: My answer: "Well I am definitely not the best recruiter, but I work really hard." Not really the correct way to answer that question. My downfall was that I was not prepared for the question, and ever worse I did not show confidence during the interview to back something like that up. It was a situation where the answer sounded MUCH better in my head, and after I said it I knew immediately it was the wrong thing to say. If I would have had confidence, and had been prepared for this question, I would have been able to provide a good answer that showcased the confidence in my background.
QUESTIONS: Be prepared to ask questions to the employees who have used their time to interview you. People love to speak about what they do, and why they are successful in their position. A simple question such as; "why do you enjoy working here?" or "why do you feel you are successful at your position?" These are both very simple questions, and it could lead to more dialogue about your background. These are very simple questions you may want to ask at the least, but you still want to come to the interview prepared to ask questions. Basing these questions around research you have done about the company is a great way to show your interest in this position.
FOLLOW UP/THANK YOU: This part of the process does not need to be anything over the top. A simple Thank you e-mail stating your appreciation for everyone's time is sufficient enough. In my opinion, a thank you note is NOT another opportunity to sell your skills. You have had plenty of opportunity to do this, and should not be mentioned again in the follow up/thank you e-mail. This thank you e-mail should be sent to each individual employee, and should NEVER be grouped together. During the interview you can ask each person for a business card so you will have contact information.
You should never go into an interview thinking you have the position in the bag. If everyone was sold on you as the right candidate, then you would have received the offer for the position. It is not over until you have offer in hand, and this is why it is so important to take the time to prepare as best as possible for your interview.
These four areas above will help ensure you make your application stand out among the other who have applied for the same position.
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