By: Ashley Stahl
What do you think of when you hear the words ‘job interview?’
…Probably not rainbows or sunshine.
The prospect of selling yourself to an employer can be terrifying, and the moments right before interviews can often leave you shaking in your boots rather than bursting with confidence. Unfortunately, job interviews are a critical part of the job hunt, and if you’re looking for a new job you’re more likely than not going to have to deal with numerous interviews.
Don’t worry — you’ve got this… And I’m not just saying this because I’m an excited career coach… I believe that you have the power to nail every single job interview, despite your nerves or insecurities.
After all, they called you in, so they already know you have something to offer!
Here are four great ways to be an incredible interviewee:
1. Prepare an elevator pitch.
The perfect elevator pitch may seem elusive, but it can make or break your job search. Have you ever heard the question ‘tell me about yourself?’ With a great elevator pitch, you’ll have a succinct, personal, and convincing answer that will blow your interviewer out of the water. A couple of key steps to create a solid elevator pitch?
Share your story. They’ve already seen your resume. Now it’s key to show them what your resume can’t— your personality. Try coming up with a short story about your big WHY—what inspired you to get into your line of work? Where in your childhood did you show evidence of this passion? Show them the deep roots your career holds in your heart.
Share your (relevant) skills. If you can come in with a list of skills that match the company’s needs, you’re not only showing you’ve done your research, but also that you’re the best fit possible for the position.
2. Do your research.
It’s a tale as old as time… Research the company before you head into your interview. Needless to say, there’s a reason this advice is given so often: studies show 47% of hiring managers will pass on job candidates who don’t have enough knowledge of the company. Why? A lack of research indicates a lack of interest. In this way, job hunting is a lot like dating… Why would a company want to hire someone who would be happy anywhere? They want to feel special. So before you head into your interview, do your homework. This goes beyond checking out the company’s website. Bonus if you want to check out sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to get a feel for the employee environment and job description. These websites both tell stories that company websites won’t show.
3. Pay attention to your non-verbal cues.
When in an interview, it can be tempting to focus only on your words. But don’t underestimate the power of body language. Think about when you have conversations with people: those who make eye contact and keep their body language open and friendly come off more trustworthy than those who slouch, cross their arms, and won’t look you in the eyes. Leaning in shows interest, and even smiling can set you apart from the others. Studies show 38% of hiring managers let go candidates because they didn’t smile or seem engaged.
4. Follow up.
If you want to be memorable, follow up with your interviewer. Sending an email thanking them for their time and expressing your interest keeps you in their mind and also gives you an opportunity to state once more why you’re the best person for the job. Make sure you send your note within 24 hours of the interview, if not sooner. And if you’re feeling classy and wanting to send a note in the snail mail, I recommend you reconsider. After all, it’s called snail mail for a reason! By the time that thing would arrive, they’d probably have assumed you forgot to thank them and made a judgment on it.
As the CEO of a job hunting platform and a ghostwriting house, I must admit: if I don’t get a thank you email within 24 hours, I am not willing to extend a job offer… After all, that’s just a lack of attention to detail.
I know the struggle that job interviews present, and I know how tough it can be to know whether or not you really got it right. Rather than letting your thoughts swim aimlessly before and after your interview, going in with a few basics will help boost your confidence and ease your nerves.
Job interviews are nerve-wracking, especially if you really want the job! But you have the tools to be the best interviewee possible, and really knock your interview out of the park. Do you feel ready for your next job interview?