You’ve seen your dream job listed in a newspaper, magazine or on the internet, you’ve sent off your CV and now you received a call to come in for an interview. But what are the things your potential employer judges you on during that interview? Consider the following aspects the next time you prepare for an interview:
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”
Interviewers are only human, and it is a natural human instinct to automatically (and subconsciously) judge others, whether it is by the way they dress, the car they drive or even how they walk. And the fact of the matter is, more often than not, you will be judged by the way you dress for an interview. Articles on the internet or in magazines about how to dress for an interview have become cliché; however there is reason things become cliché – because they are rooted in fact. So, even if the work you are interviewing for has a relaxed and casual environment, dress professionally. That means no t-shirts, no raggedy jeans, no sneakers or running shoes and definitely avoid extravagant fashion trends such as neon and cropped tops.
“Talk is cheap”
The interviewer might sit there with a smile on their face, but usually its fake and just there to lull you into a false sense of security; and all they are actually doing is thinking about how you are making a fool of yourself for trying too hard to sound intellectual. Remember the way you present yourself is your brand and it goes more than skin deep; looking professional is not the only factor for a successful interview- the language you use also matter. You do not need to speak in such a way that people will think you just swallowed a dictionary, but at the same time refrain from using crass language or the latest slang terminology. Remember, you are being judged by each person you meet at your interview – and their feedback (positive and negative) will be asked for, and taken into account when it comes to the final screening process.
“Story of my life”
Closely related to the language you use in an interview, is your ability to answer the questions they ask you clearly and concisely. When an interviewer or potential employer ask you to tell them more about yourself it is not a platform to for you to voice your life story from beginning to the present. What they actually want to hear when they ask that question is how you came to be interested in the job you are applying for, what your skills are and how those skills are related to the job. They do not care about your Grade 2 debate diploma or your self-taught martial arts skills, unless they are directly related to the job you are applying for. All the interviewer secretly want is for you to present your work-related skills and experience concisely so that they can determine if they should ask follow-up questions.
“Standing out from the crowd…”
…or just the rest of the interviewees. What they won’t tell you is that the job is yours to lose. Meaning your CV must have credentials they really liked or you wouldn’t be going for the interview. It is simple fact that people want to work with others that they like and who have similar qualities and traits. This doesn’t mean you should change your personality, but try to engage more, by asking questions and following up with them after the interview. They will secretly like that and that might go a long way in getting positive feedback from the company you are applying to.