When hiring managers extend invitations to interviews, they aren’t just looking for a good chat. They also want to have their instincts about a candidate confirmed. They’ve developed an image of you based on your resume and references; now, it’s time to see whether that image pans out.
To give an employer confidence that you’re the right candidate for the job, it helps to know what employers are listening for during an interview – and how to say it. Here are five places to start:
- By the interview stage, most hiring managers are convinced you have the background for the job. They also want to know that you have the presence and demeanor to carry out the work. Communicate the competence employers look for by preparing two or three specific examples of accomplishments you’ve achieved on the job and how they tie into the work you’ll be expected to do for the company. Dress appropriately for the job you’re interviewing for, and bring additional copies of your resume and other application materials. You’ll communicate competence with your actions as well as your words.
- Hiring managers want to feel confident they’re making the right decision in interviewing you. Confidence is contagious: when you walk in expressing confidence, a hiring manager is more likely to feel it as well. Preparing thoroughly for your interview will give you a boost of confidence, as will carrying your body in a relaxed but alert manner – no crossed arms, looking distracted, or yawning! Instead, think about what you do best and how you can do it in this job, and communicate that confidence and enthusiasm to the employer.
- Few hiring managers have all the time for each interview that they’d like. In a short space, then, you must give the hiring manager as much useful information about your abilities and goals as possible. Preparing a few clear examples of your best work, as well as short, concise answers to common questions like “Tell us about yourself,” will allow you to communicate clearly – a key skill for anyone who will work with a team, supervise, or need to report to a busy boss.
- Hiring managers want to know they’re seeing the “real” professional when they speak to candidates. They also want to be sure that the candidate genuinely understands the job they’re interviewing for. The more you know about the company and the position, the less tempted you’ll be to strive for answers you think the hiring manager wants to hear, and the better you’ll be able to express how you are genuinely the best possible fit for the job.
- Cultural “Fit”. At the interview stage, every candidate has the skills to do the job. The question the hiring manager asks is which candidate will fit best within the company. To answer this question, know yourself as well as the company. Do you thrive on teamwork? Do you love working with customers? Are you great under the pressure of a looming deadline? Find out whether your strongest traits match the company’s way of doing business, and talk about these “match points.”
At THE RIGHT STAFF, our experienced recruiters help job seekers connect with great companies in the Twin Cities. Contact us today to learn more.