Ugh. Interviews. These most nerve-racking moments in life that determine your fate and outcome of how your life unfolds in future years to come. While a quick search on the internet yields results that tell candidates to arrive 10-15 minutes early, be well-dressed and well-groomed, to research the company etc., there is also a really important and often understated tip. That is: be likable.
3 Crucial Steps to Kill an Interview + The Most Underrated Interview Tip
What are the three things interviewers are looking for?
When asking interviewers what they are trying to assess during the interview, the top answers are:
1. Can this person do the job?
2. Can this person learn and will they be willing to take the job?
3. Can this person get along with our current team and culture?
To elaborate further on question #3, no one wants to hire the apple that spoils the barrel. Employers are trying to find people that they will enjoy being around frequently. Questions like, “Can I see myself at happy hour with this person?” or “Will this person make our team-building exercises and monthly meetings more enjoyable?” often get assessed. Thus, it’s important for an interviewer to feel like they have struck some type of rapport with the interviewee in that short timeframe.
What are 3 things you can do to build rapport in under 30 minutes?
A well-known saying about communication is that 93% of it is nonverbal, and this is very applicable to the interview. Smiling when meeting the interviewer, during the interview, and shaking hands to say bye to the interviewer are big steps in the right direction. Not only does a smile exude a certain level of confidence, but it opens up the comfort level to both sides of the table immediately. In fact, you should start with the receptionist and everyone you pass by in the building. This will get you into the right state of mind for when the actual evaluator meets with you.
2. Draw Upon Commonalities or Common Interests
Speaking confidently and showing passion for the specific industry not only displays a strong level of competency and drive, it also plays a role in how much hiring managers like the candidate as a person. It’s good to remember that they are in the same industry, and oftentimes there are similarities for why they chose that particular field for a career.
Hopefully, you have also conducted some LinkedIn research or Googled their name to see if you can subtly bring up some commonalities or common interests. “I noticed from your LinkedIn profile you used to work at a horse rescue. How did you like that? I volunteered at a ranch once while traveling in Peru and it was an amazing experience to be so close to the animals.”
3. Use the Interviewer’s Name
There is no sweeter word to a man or woman other than his or her name. When possible, see if you can personalize the interview by using the interviewer’s name. “Thank you so much, Bill, for your time today.” Or, when asking questions, “Can you tell me what attracted you to this company, Bill?”
Just don’t overdo it. I would say once in the beginning when greeting them is great. Another one or two times during the middle of the interview. And finally in closing once as you thank them for their time!
Did the Hiring Manager Like Me?
While one may never truly know until the decision has been made, always remember to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Remain professional, kind, and treat others how you would like to be treated and you have a great shot of already meeting a third of the criteria listed above! Be yourself and put your best foot forward.
You got this!
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