You just got the email. All your efforts have paid off and you have finally landed an opportunity to meet. However, as reality sets in, so do your nerves.
In many ways, dating and interviewing are similar. Whether it’s courting someone for a personal relationship or wooing them to land a job, the process takes a lot of hard work, preparation and (unfortunately) perspiration.
Here are some tips to help you win the heart of a prospective employer at your next interview.
Do your research
Just like you would visit a person’s Facebook profile before heading out on a date with them (no shame in admitting it), you need to do thorough research on the company you are interviewing with. Use resources like the company’s career website or TalentEgg employer profiles to gain insight into what they have to offer. You want to be able to answer their questions intelligently and speak about topics that are important to them. Additionally, you want to ask them the right questions to decide whether this ‘relationship’ would be right for you.
Leave your preconceived notions at home
You are still young as a student or new grad. Having limited experience, you do not want to tie yourself down to preconceived notions of what your ‘perfect’ soul mate or job should be like. ‘Perfect’ is relative to each person and situation. What may be ideal for your friend or classmate may not be right for you. You should go in to an interview with an open mind and flexible criteria. Sure, there are deal-breakers, but if you release yourself from the rigid idea of how you want your career to pan out, you may end up discovering a career you truly love.
Make a good first impression
Just as you would dress to the nines for a first date, you should put your best foot forward for the interview. You should express to the prospective employer that you take this opportunity seriously. According to a Forbes article, we make eleven major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting. In fact, studies have found that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say. So suit up, straighten that posture, make eye contact and give a solid handshake. Widen that smile and go win your interviewer’s heart.
With nerves at an all-time high, you can easily fall into the trap of putting on a façade or exaggerating your achievements and qualifications in the hopes of impressing the interviewer. You want them to like you for who you are, rather than an inflated version of yourself. The distorted truths may impress the person temporarily, but if your relationship with them progresses and you fail to meet expectations, disappointment and a breakup is inevitable.
Let your personality shine
Show them that you don’t just look good on paper. You don’t want a person to judge you solely on your experience. You are a person with a multifaceted personality, skills and abilities. Show the employer that you posses the skills and attributes for a long-lasting relationship. This trait will make you a keeper.
Ask the right questions
Finding the ‘one’ takes a lot of legwork. Just as much as you are trying to impress them, the employer is courting you as well. They need to win you over with the opportunity they are offering. By asking the right questions, you will be able to unearth the finer details that can be possible deal-breakers for you. As impressive as the job may sound in the posting, you want confirm that the employer is a good fit.
Call them back
Okay, maybe you shouldn’t call your interviewer, but sending a timely email thanking them for their time and consideration will speak volumes. It will show them your level of interest in the position and company. Also, it will keep you top-of-mind and showcase your relationship building skills, a skill that is highly valued at a workplace.
Every interview is a lesson
Even after all your calculated efforts, if a job does not blossom, do not take it to heart. All the measures you took to woo your prospect have not gone to waste. Think of it this way; the more interviews (or dates) you go on, the more confident you will get. Take the lessons you learned from this experience and do not make the same mistakes again. The more you put yourself out there, the more your confidence will grow.
No one is an expert at interviews from the get-go. Just like how a first date is kind of like an interview for a second date, go into your first interview with the intention and confidence of landing that second one. Relieve your stress and see your performance improve.
With these practical tips and using other career resources from TalentEgg’s Career Incubator, and perhaps a little luck from cupid’s bow, a beautiful relationship may just hatch between you and an employer.