by Stephanie Osborne candidate, candidate advice, Trades and Labour...
The worst thing you can be in a job interview is forgettable. You want to make an impact...just make sure it’s the right impact!
1. Be likable and cover the basics.
Obvious? And critical. Making a great first impression and establishing a real connection is everything. Smile, make eye contact, be enthusiastic, sit forward in your chair, use the interviewer's name... Be the best version of you. Use the fact that everyone wants to work with people they like to your advantage. Few candidates do.
2. Ask questions that really matter to you.
There's really no other way to know you want the job. What is the team atmosphere like? Who you will report to? The future of the team / organisation? Interviews should be a two-way street. Interviewers respond positively to people as eager as they are to find the right fit. Don't be afraid to ask several questions, as long as you don't completely take over the interview! Feel free to take a notebook into the interview with you it can be easy to forget the answers when you’re a little stressed.
3. Have a hook.
One of the unfortunate truths of interviewing candidates all day is that you tend to forget a decent amount they’ve said as soon as they’re out of the building. Your hook could be an outside interest, or an unusual fact about your upbringing or career. Hooks make you memorable and create an anchor for interviewers to remember you by - and being memorable is everything. Just remember to keep your anecdotes work-friendly!
4. Know what you can offer immediately.
Researching the company is a given; go a step further and find a way you can hit the ground running. If you have a specific technical skill show how it can be leveraged immediately. Be careful though - don't go charging in saying "I would love to be in charge of revamping your social media marketing." Interviewers could easily take this as an insult. Instead, share details regarding your skills and really sell your key achievements making them very specific to the job description. Keep your answers clear and concise. Think about what makes you special and show how that would benefit to the company.
5. Don't create negative sound bites.
Interviewers will only remember a few sound bites, especially if they’re negative. If you've never been in charge of training, don't say, "I've never been in charge of training." Say, "I did not fill that specific role, but I have trained dozens of new hires and created several training guides." Basically, never say, "I can't," or "I haven't," or "I don't." Share applicable experience and find the positives in what you have done. No matter what the subject, be positive: even your biggest mistake can be your best learning experience.
6. Reinforce your interest, follow-up contact
A polite email thanking them for their time is fine. Following up based on something you learned during the interview is best. An email including additional information you were asked to provide, or a link to a subject you discussed (whether business or personal). The better the interview and more closely you listened the easier it will be to think of ways you can make following up seem natural and unforced. Always make sure you say thanks - never underestimate the power of gratitude!