Gearing up for an interview often means finding ways to stand out from the competition to impress the hiring manager. From the moment you walk through the office door to the way in which you tactfully follow-up after the interview, here are ten great tips to elevate yourself in the mind of the recruiter.
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These are ten insider tips from the other side of the hiring desk that you can use to “wow” the hiring manager and get that much closer to your dream job!
#1 – Look the part. Studies have proven that people form an immediate perception of you based on your appearance and the way you carry yourself within the first ten seconds of seeing you. If you take the time to dress professionally and conservatively, complete your look with a nice haircut and personal grooming, and a great pair of shoes; you’ll have a better chance at impressing the hiring manager.
#2 – Show up on time. Being punctual for an interview is a major sign of respect to the hiring manager. But avoid a big interview blooper: do not show up more than 15-minutes early for your interview. This will only annoy the company secretary and the hiring person who then has to figure out what to do with you while you wait. If you are going to be late for any reason, immediately call to alert the interviewer as to your estimated arrival time and the reason for your tardiness.
#3 – Know the company. Take the time to research the company well before you arrive for the interview. Make sure to mention something positive about the company to indicate to the hiring manager you have done your homework. Learning about the company shows you are truly interested in working there.
#4 – Know yourself. Your resume may be pretty grand considering you want to stand out, but can you back everything up with real evidence of your abilities? Read through the job descriptions of the positions you are applying for and then take a good look at the credentials you have. Determine if you measure up and can explain how well you will be a fit for the assignment.
#5 – Come prepared. Bring a clean copy of your resume and references, as well as any examples of relevant projects or publications you’ve completed. Think of the interview as a ‘show and tell’ session.
#6 – Get recommended. Referrals can be powerful in terms of impressing a hiring manager because they validate your skills even further. Use your social and industry networks often to connect with people at your target companies.
#7 – Ask smart questions. Heading into an interview, you already know you will be asked challenging questions. At some point, however, the hiring manager may ask you if you have any questions. Come prepared with at least three questions that show you are genuinely interested in the company and how your skills can help the company reach its objectives.
#8 – Communicate well. Hiring managers often judge candidates based on how well they articulate during an interview, in many formats. Practice your communication skills in written and verbal ways. Use positive eye contact and smiling to show your warmth and personality. Build as much rapport with the hiring manager as you can. Send a handwritten thank you note to the hiring manager immediately after the interview.
#9 – Watch your posture. Hiring managers are keen to notice subtle body language cues as indicators of personality and confidence. Slumping or sitting with arms crossed can indicate negativity, while an open body posture, with head and shoulders up and sitting slightly forward can indicate high self-esteem and energy. Pay attention to your posture when standing, sitting, and even when shaking hands.
#10 – Appreciate, don’t demand. As you encounter the hiring manager, be sure to express gratitude for their time and reiterate this appreciation as the interview concludes. Your thank you letter extends this message. The way you patiently follow up and don’t expect an answer right away also speaks volumes to the hiring manager. Consider that it is a very difficult decision to choose the right person for the job.
By following the above tips, you should have a better time of impressing the hiring manager enough that he or she will contact you for a second interview or even a job offer. Use each interview as a learning experience and an opportunity to make a positive impression that can propel you to career success!
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