By: J.T. O’Donnell
With all the free career advice available online today, it’s easy to search “interview tips” and get a ton of information. There’s really no excuse for going to an interview unprepared any more. That being said, I’m still seeing plenty of people fail to prepare thoroughly for an interview. What a waste of an opportunity. With studies showing you have just a 3% chance of getting a call for an interview, wouldn’t you want to increase the likelihood you succeed in the so you can get the job offer? There’s a lot of preparation that goes into nailing interviews. Take a look at the curriculum of this comprehensive interview prep course, and you’ll see what I mean.
When it comes to making the right impression, here are six tips I like to give that most people haven’t heard before.
1) Put your jewelry on backwards. When you change how you wear your jewelry, your mind will notice it in the interview. Tell yourself, “Each time I notice my jewelry in a different place, I’ll remind myself to smile, relax and be positive.” It’s one of the best ways to condition yourself to keep the right mindset in the interview. It’s one of the best ways to build a new habit too.
2) Be particularly nice to the receptionist. The front desk team is the eyes and ears of the company. They have conversations with people at all levels of the organization. Trust me. They tell the hiring manager what they thought of you. By being nice, you have a better chance of the them putting in a good word for you.
3) Give a compliment in the elevator. It’s more than likely someone from the company is on the elevator with you. When you take a moment to give a stranger a compliment, you not only display great character, you may have just said something very nice (and memorable!) to a potential co-worker.
4) Read paperback of a business book in the waiting area. While waiting in reception, put your phone a way and pull out a business book. People will notice the title you’re reading and it can lead to a great opening conversation when the hiring manager comes to get you. It also shows you make good use of your spare time. Here are two brand new books on the market that would work. Originals by Professor Adam Grant, and The Art of People by Dave Kerpen. Both of these books getting rave reviews and focus on team work and how to be a better professional.
5) Ask the hiring manager, “What pleasantly surprised you the most about working here?” This question lets the hiring manager go back to their own first few months on the job and lets her or him reminisce about that exciting time. It also lets them sell you on the pluses of working there. A great way for you to see what makes the hiring manager feel satisfied in their job as well, and hopefully, lets the two of you build a positive connection.
6) Give the company a post-interview “shout out” on social media. While you don’t want to act desperate and post something like, “Just had a great interview with XYZ corp!” (Especially, if you are currently working.) You can do something more strategic like posting in your LinkedIn feed, “I learned today that XYZ Corp has a 95% satisfaction rating with its clients. That’s impressive!” Be sure to link to the company’s social account so they see it in their feed. Lots of employees follow their company’s accounts to stay on top of what’s happening. And, if the hiring team follows up on the interview by checking out your social media profiles (and they will!), they’ll see you gave the company some social love.
You Don’t Have To Be Perfect, But You Do Need To Be Prepared!
While the tips above are unique, they by no means cover the depth of what you need to do to succeed in your next interview. The hours you invest in learning the right way to interview will pay off in a better performance both now AND in subsequent interviews. In my experience, a minimum of two hours of solid prep going over the entire interview process is needed (i.e. what to expect, how to handle tough questions, how to follow-up, etc.). It’s the best way to feel fully confident in your next interview.