Over the course of many phone and 1:1 interviews I’ve noticed a few common denominators candidates, both successful and unsuccessfully, presented themselves.
Whether you have never interviewed before, you’re out of practice, or just looking for additional insight, here are a few mistakes to lookout for.
Most candidates know to arrive a few minutes early. Unless you are already familiar with the building or office, you want to allow time to navigate suites, floors, or even security. You may also be required to fill out some preliminary paperwork prior to your interview. Being mentally on time is a big tip I can offer as well. All too many times candidates arrive with just enough time to be called in for their scheduled interview only to start off anxious and rambling for the first couple minutes almost like they’re trying to play catch up. The ability to gather your thoughts can be a great assistance in your delivery of answers and questions to your interviewer.
Dressing the Part.
Do some brief research. Look up the company or industry, and if you can, find anything on their culture. Through discussion with colleagues and friends after seeing it myself, the interpretation of business attire or business casual, can vary dependent upon your field and industry. I have had phone interviews where I am asked about company culture and daily attire; I think that is a valid question. You want to not only be sure you are presenting the best version of yourself in your interview but also that you fit the company culture.
Confidence, or lack there of
This may seem simple enough but even just having a bad night’s sleep can make someone seem less than confident in themselves. In a position like sales which is majority of the positions hired for here at Providence Capital, confidence is a huge factor in developing your career. Looking tired, slouching, mumbling or speaking in a low tone of voice, averting your eyes rather than looking at the interviewer, fidgeting between questions or while waiting. You may not even notice you’re doing any of this but these are all big factors that play into the presentation of your possible candidacy for the role in which you are applying.
Yes, I want you to practice what you are going to say and what answer you may give to the possible questions that may be answered. “But Alina, I don’t know what questions I will be asked!” Many interview questions are very similar and pertain to you yourself, the positions you held, and how your experience will fit into this new role and company for which you are applying. This not only goes back into my last point, confidence, being prepared allows you to put your best foot forward.
Many times, before you even get to an in person interview, companies may conduct a phone interview to determine your fitness for the position and fit into the company. Do not mistake this as the same thing as having a live interview. All the non-verbal cues such as pausing, facial or hand expressions that you give and get. This can hinder any key points you are trying to convey to your interviewer and hinder communication. Conducting a mock interview can be the difference between being asked to the next round of in person interviews, or even an extended offer letter for the position in which you are applying.
It’s Not All About You
Yes an interview is meant to learn about how your experience and talents can contribute to the position in which you are applying for. However, the role that you are filling is also meant to add value to the company as well. “I want to learn”, “I want to build my career”, ”I like a role that can challenge me”, all of these seem like great answers and they very well could be when phrased correctly. If you truly want to work for the company you are applying for, tell us why, not just what we can offer the growth of your career path.
While all of these points may seem like common sense, the quote “Common sense is not so common.” rings true. The hiring process is very competitive, in a competition in which you don’t know who you’re competing against. Take those few extra steps to stand out and present your best self.
Author: Alina Sosa – Recruiting Coordinator – Providence Capital