This may seem unfair. You’d like to believe that when you’re interviewing for a job, all that counts is your background and experience. That’s only a part of it. Of course the interviewer and hiring manager care about your skills, responsibilities, expertise and knowledge. However, while these traits are important, there are some smart hacks to win over the hiring manager in the interview.
You have to enter the arena knowing that it will be rough. You’ll be met with indifference and rejection. There will be three to more than ten interviews conducted over six months. You’re thrust into an uncomfortable game. It’s not easy for most people to turn on charm and charisma when the interview starts. It feels that the process is one-sided and the company holds all the cards. Going on a number of interviews without an end in sight and little to no feedback could be exhausting.
Interviewing is similar to playing a sport. You might find yourself against a tough adversary, but once you get how the game is played, you’ll be prepared, ready to overcome all the obstacles, hurdles and will prevail.
They’re Watching And Listening For Clues
You can be the best, most qualified candidate, but if you have a bad attitude, it could be a deal-killer. A person’s temperament, communication style, social and interpersonal skills are crucially important. A manager doesn’t want to hire someone who will alienate her staff members, appears uncoachable, not a team player and is difficult to work with.
If you lost your job, it’s understandable that you’re a little bitter and angry. It was probably unfair that you were selected. A common occurrence is that job seekers can’t hide their inner feelings. In the interview, their emotions bubble up to the surface. The candidate will say something disparaging about their former boss and coworkers.
This never ends well. It’s a big waving red flag. The manager doesn’t know if it’s really the prior boss’s fault or yours. Either way, it’s not worth the risk, they’ll conclude. It’s easier to take a pass and see other applicants.
Companies Want Winners
You need to come across as a winner. A manager desires someone who can get the job done. If you present yourself, even inadvertently, as sluggish, disinterested or non-motivated, they won’t be interested. Don’t expect sympathy or empathy. The boss wants a highly energized person who will do whatever it takes to succeed. To gain their interest, you should radiate positivity, assertiveness, intelligence, drive and enthusiasm.
Put yourself in the supervisor’s shoes. Would you prefer to hire a person who will make your job easier or harder? Do you want to bring aboard a go-getter that your boss will be proud of your decision making abilities or someone who strikes out?
You have to sell yourself. I know this sounds crass. No one else is going to make the case for you. You have to be your own best champion and advocate. Only relying upon the resume isn’t sufficient. You must have a tight elevator pitch that crisply and concisely sells your story. You also need to have a feel for all the frequently asked questions.
Do your homework about the company, it’s products, corporate mission and interviewers. Armed with all the knowledge about the job and company, you’ll come across prepared and interested in the opportunity.
Just because you went to a top university, have a solid resume and are good at your job, if you act as if the position is already yours it may rub them the wrong way. You have to play the game. No one wants to hire someone who acts entitled and arrogant.
Looking And Acting The Part
You need to look the part. Wear the attire that fits the job, or even a step above it. Just because you’re at home, you don’t look sloppy, lazy or indifferent. If you’re on a video call, ensure the lighting is right, you’re at a good camera angle, look directly into the lens, make sure the internet connection works and the sound quality is sharp.
Speak in a strong, clear, concise and confident tone. Your voice is a musical instrument. Use it to your advantage. Remember to smile, pull your shoulders back, keep your head held high and avoid fidgeting and squirming in your seat or allowing your eyes to nervously wonder.
Don’t just say yes or no or give one-word answers. Offer complete well thought out answers. Avoid meandering and going off on tangents. Have a tight narrative. Sprinkle positive action words into your speech pattern. This will make you sound assertive, confident, in control and desirable.
Show enthusiasm and excitement. Demonstrate authentic emotions. Ask open-ended questions, so that you involve the interviewer and get her talking. The more she talks, the better it is for you. She’ll feel that you must be a great candidate since she’s spending so much time speaking with you.
Make appropriate eye contact. Mirror the interviewer’s style. For instance if you are a fast-talking New Yorker and speaking with a midwesterner, you may want to slow down your speech pattern. It makes the other person feel more comfortable. Smile and nod your head in agreement when appropriate so the interviewer sees you’re paying attention.
Be genuinely interested in the hiring manager and interviewers. Focus on the other person as if he’s the only one in the world. Repeat or reframe things the manager said to show that you’re engaged. This also ensures that you are on the same page with the interviewer. Ask questions when you feel the need so you don’t wait until the end of the meeting. Use their name in the conversation, it’s an interesting hack that gets them involved with the conversation.
Pay attention to your body language. You want to convey warmth, openness, and friendliness. Never scowl, interrogate or act rude. Don’t cross your arms over your chest, tap the desk, fidget, squirm, roll your eyes, sigh or interrupt. Its okay to smile and laugh.
Be genuine and authentic. Let them see the real you. The more the interviewer feels like they know you, the closer you will be to receiving an offer. Hiring decisions are made, in large part, based upon the likeability of the candidate. A person could possess all the necessary skills but if the hiring manager doesn’t warm up to you, it might not happen.
What would you do? Would you rather hire a person who you genuinely like but needs some upskilling and coaching, or a person you don’t care for but has some more experience?