Did you know that you have about 10 seconds from the moment you walk through the doors of an interview room to win over your interviewer? During this time, your interviewer will be looking at the clothes you wear, the way you stand, and will evaluate the grip of your handshake. From this information, they will form an opinion of you, your abilities, your personality, and will have already decided whether you are right for the job. Scary, I know!
The truth is, first impressions count. And when it comes to job interviews, your resume and education will get you to the interview table, but it’s your interpersonal and communication skills that will get you the job.
Today’s article is the second part of a two-part series on job interviews. In Part 1 of 5 Practical Tips for Interview Success, I revealed two crucial tips to interviewing. I’m delighted you’ve visited this blog again, so now I’m going to reveal to you three more vital tips for your next job interview.
Develop Rapport With Your Interviewer
Your interviewer is your gateway and connection to a new job. It’s this person who you need to impress and this person who you need to connect with. Building rapport with your interviewer is vital to making a great first impression. Of course, dressing for the industry will give you an immediate advantage (see “5 Practical Tips for Interview Success – Part 1“), but a solid way to build rapport with your interviewer during conversation is to ask about them. Ask questions such as:
Q: How long have you been working for the company?
Q: What is your favourite part of your job?
Keep your questions positive and professionally focused. By asking about them, you will make them feel special, and without much effort, you will stand out from the pile of resumes on their desk.
Spice Up Your Image With a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is where potential employers often look to gather information about you before the interview (yes, they research all of their candidates and you will be on their list too). For this reason, all job seekers should be on LinkedIn, and their LinkedIn profile needs to be uber professional. I find that most students in Generation Y feel that LinkedIn is only for working professionals. With this mindset, they’re missing out on a free and extremely powerful marketing tool. Here are some reasons why you should spice up your image with a LinkedIn profile:
- It’s rare for Generation Y to be on LinkedIn, so you will really stand out if you are.
- It makes a statement that you’re already part of the professional world.
- Your potential employer will probably be on LinkedIn too, and remember, “people like others who they can relate to”.
Ask for Their Business Card and Send a Thank You Note
It’s rare that candidates ask for the business card of the interviewer. It may be that they’re too shy, or because they’re not yet part of the professional world and don’t feel they have a right to ask. However, asking for your interviewers’ business card is a great opportunity to show off your etiquette skills in business card protocol, and it gives you all the information you need to send a thank you note after the interview is over; which I highly recommend.
An interview can be a daunting experience, but with the right preparation and the right mindset, you too can attend any interview with confidence and results.
Now I want to hear from you. Have you ever sent a Thank You note after an interview? Did it get you the job? Leave your comments in the section below.
*Photo used in header image above: courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net