So you have just graduated and are now looking for a job. You have your certificates in hand and full of energy. However, the moment you enter the interview room, your mind goes blank. What do you do next? These are just one of the many concerns that people have whenever they go for an interview. Having a mental block, being unprepared, being over confident and sometimes just sheer bad luck are some factors that will cost one the job they want. However, is there a way or some tips as to increase one’s chance at having a perfect interview? Over the years, researchers and psychologists have been studying what are the key factors that interviewers look for during interviews. These studies have shown that there are actually a few techniques and pointers that one should remember and use during any interview to improve their chances of getting hired.
Normally, employers will say that they will look for the candidate that best suits their needs by having the right paper qualifications and also experience in the field or industry. The selection process normally begins with the employer going through the applicant’s CV. Checking for the relevant experience and what sort of qualifications that candidate has. After those are matched, a face to face interview is arranged so that the employer can have a better idea of what sort of person the applicant is before making a final decision. Employers around the world have based their selection process on qualifications and skills but they have been proven wrong. This process can be affected entirely on just one simple characteristic of the potential candidate.
Studies have been done on graduating students when they go out and search for their first job. Researchers go through these students CV to check if they have what most employers are looking for, qualifications and also work experience. After the interviews, the students took a quick survey on how they had behaved during the interview, whether they spoke of their strengths and what did they like about the company. The researchers also called up the employers and asked them about how the applicant performed during the interview.
Whether or not the candidate had the qualifications and experience and most of all would the candidate get the job in the end? After the study was done, the researchers found a stunning conclusion. Did the candidate get the job based on what employers looked for? Would qualifications and experience be the vital key to clinching that sort after job? The answer was no! The main thing that had actually caused the candidate to secure the job was by having a pleasant disposition. Being pleasant and calm during an interview is one of the key factors in securing a job.
Most employers would agree that a pleasant individual would be easy to work with whether as a colleague or when dealing with a client, hence they would be more sort after then those who are qualified but do not seem nice. This is just one of the key factors of getting your dream job.
Another factor that a lot of candidates tend to overlook is what the company is about. You might be applying for a sales position or maybe a position in HR. It sounds straightforward enough what you have to do but what does your company do overall? Employers feel that candidates that do not bother to read up on the company profile are not serious enough about the job because you need to know your product and what you will be “selling” when you come down for the interview and not give the interviewer a “blank” look on your face. Even if you are unsure about something, just smile, admit that you are not familiar with the topic and move on. It is better to say something rather than have your potential employer think that you have no substance. Thinking quick on your feet is another thing that potential employers look for.
Well your CV would have all your good merits and strong points but what about your weakness? Some employers like to ask “tell me your strengths and weaknesses”. This question can make or break your chances. If you go on and on trying to impress with all your good quality, the employer would feel that you are either over confident or just blowing your own trumpet. If you try and cover up your weakness, the employer would be experienced enough to “smell a rat” somewhere and would feel that you are not being totally honest. The best way would be to just be honest. If you come out in the open and state early on what some of your weaknesses are, it would make it seem like you are being genuine and open with the interviewer.
Nobody is perfect and it is ok to have some flaws, your potential employer is hiring a human being. Not a robot! It is never easy to admit that one has flaws, but by doing so the interviewer will see that you are a person who has character and will acknowledge that as a strength and would recognize you as someone who would work well in their organization.
So should one try to create a good first impression and start talking about all his strengths and good points early on in the interview? This is also not recommended. In fact, this should be left to almost towards the end of the interview. The reason for this is because it will give the interviewer the feeling that you are a humble person. Let the interviewer learn of your strengths rather than to highlight them early on.
By leaving your good points towards the end of the interview, it will also cause the interviewer to subconsciously remember your strengths because it was the last few things that were shared before the interview ended. Well so now you know that you should declare your weaknesses early and to leave your strengths towards the end of the interview. So does this mean you have gotten the job? Murphy’s Law states that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” You might spill your glass of water and make a mess or maybe you might say something that you did not mean to upset or worse still offend your potential employer. So what does one do in a situation like this?
The true fact is that you will have to learn to be able to cope with the situation and change it to your advantage. Being able to cope under stress would show your potential employer that you have what it takes to get the job done. You may think that the mistake you made might leave a negative impression but what we fail to realize is that most of the time, the other party does not notice your mistake as much as you think so. We are all very particular about how we appear to others so if we have an embarrassing moment during the interview, just move on after and stop bringing attention to it. Chances are, it will go unnoticed and the negative aspect of it will not be so great in the end.
So remember there are just three easy steps to helping you increase your chances in securing the job of your dreams. Firstly, always wear a smile! Be pleasant, ask about the goals and future of the company and what sort of person they are looking for to fill that post. Sometimes it is ok to chat about topics which are not related to the job just to ease the tension during the interview. Always maintain eye contact and speak in a firm and clear tone. Be enthusiastic and give positive feedback about the company which you have heard of. Second, when you do have to speak about your weakness, do not wait until the very end of the interview before speaking about them. Be forward about it, show that you are confident even if you do have certain flaws but that only proves you are human. Be humble when it comes to highlighting your strengths. Get into a conversation with the interviewer and let him or her subtly find out about your strengths. Retain your good points until the end for a lasting effect even after the interview.
Lastly, if you feel that you had made a mistake during your interview, do not over react. Be calm, handle the situation head on and make the best of the situation. Chances are that you would notice your mistake more likely than your interviewer would. Do not draw unnecessary attention to yourself by apologizing profusely. Just acknowledge what happened and move on. We are not saying that by following these few steps will definitely secure you a job, but at least by knowing these key factors that will help influence interviewers, your chances of securing your job would be higher.
The rest now is up to you. Good Luck!
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