In my last article I addressed how preparing for an interview both physiologically and psychologically is as important as getting to know the company and preparing yourself for tough questions. But good preparation is pointless if you don’t execute and make a good impression.
Does the glove fit?
First off, familiarise yourself with the key words associated with the position. Check the ad and the company’s website, product pages and LinkedIn profile – one of your contacts might even work there. Find out about the work culture and what the best stepping stones might be.
Ask yourself “How is my performance evaluated?”, “What is the biggest value that I will be delivering?”, “How do they celebrate success and team work?”, “What happens when someone makes an error?” and “What kind of people work here?”
This will enable you to build a starter image of the job, because this is a two-way street – an interview is just as much about you interviewing the company to see if it is the right fit.
Man in the mirror
It might sound like a risk, but asking the right kind of questions will increase your chance of being remembered, as it will make the interviewer think and dig into their own perspective. Research shows that interviewers will always remember how you made them feel, rather than what and how you said it.
To make them feel positive, it is of course essential that you give the right kind of answers in a manner that is pleasing to the interviewer. Adding a smile to their face is always a sign of success, so make sure you practise smiling a lot yourself, and if that means a lot of work in front of the mirror, then ‘Fake it till you make it!’ Remember, the mirror is always your friend when you prepare – it might make you rethink some of your facial expressions.
ABC: easy like 1-2-3
The first 30 seconds are also crucial as the interviewer’s attention will quickly wane, so make sure your first answer isn’t too lengthy. Find a way to include your key words in your first answer, and then make sure you reiterate them with examples in later questions.
Try thinking in threes, as research suggests this is the most effective number. Start your answer with a summary in three points, and then reiterate each point with an example.
Starting with a summary makes the interviewer’s job easier, increasing the chances they will like you and remember you. Furthermore, you’re already providing value by saving them time, and time is money.