You may find it surprising that most hiring managers know within the first 90 seconds if you will be moving forward in the interview process, as illustrated by the Undercover Recruiter’s infographic below. Thankfully, there are things within your control to influence this decision such as your attire, actions, responses, and questions.
Dress your absolute best for the interview. This is your first impression with the hiring manager and you want to make sure the manager knows that you are professional and want the job.
Dig that suit and tie, or dress or pants suit out of the closet and your best pair of dress shoes. Make sure your clothes are wrinkle and odor free. It’s also best to stay with neutral colors. This is a time you will want to leave that swanky purple suit on the hanger!
Keep accessories to a minimum, as well as any cologne or perfume.
Believe it or not, your actions can be a determining factor in whether you move forward or not. Be sure that your attitude is positive and that you express enthusiasm and interest in the position and company.
Ensure that your handshake is firm, smile and make eye contact. Also, pay attention that your posture is correct and that you are not crossing your arms or fidgeting.
Provide clear and concise responses when asked questions. Remember, more isn’t always better!
Prepare to be asked questions surrounding your past work history, why you left previous positions, as well as your responsibilities at those positions. You may also be asked to provide specific, concise examples of projects or instances in your work experience which would be relatable to the position.
When asked why you are interested in the company or the opportunity, respond with something stronger than “career growth” or “good opportunity”. Reference the company brand, culture, and any successes or achievements that you discovered during your research about the company.
You should also be prepared for the possibility of questions regarding your ability to pass a background check and drug screen. It is always best to be honest and upfront, but concise.
While it is not common that salary or benefits are addressed in your first interview, be prepared to discuss your current salary and benefits as well as expectations or desires, if asked.
Typically, the interviewer opens it up for any questions you may have towards the end of the discussion. This is your time to ask questions about the position itself or the company. For example, what the day to day looks like in this role, three main qualities the manager is looking for, challenges going into the role, etc.
Stay away from questions regarding compensation and benefits. This discussion will come later in the process.
Close with expressing your interest in the position and asking for the next step. If the manager does not give you a business card, ask for one in order to have an email address to send a thank you note to after the interview.
While there is no guarantee that every interview will be successful, following these tips and advice will help to give you a better shot at moving forward in the interview process.
What are some ways you prepare for an interview? Please include your tips and suggestions below in the comments!