Every hiring influencer and job candidate is concerned with a good fit between the candidate and the position. How do hiring influencers know if you’re a good fit? Fit is about connection.
If you make a professional and personal connection during your interview, you are showing that you’d be a good fit as a colleague or subordinate. Yes, you have to have the right skills, experience, and education for the job, but after the resume hurdle is past, you need to connect with your interviewers.
Being prepared, present, and polite are more important than you may realize.
Prepared. Research the company, department, and team you are hoping to join. Use your network, your LinkedIn information and connections, and be ready to show how you would add value and be a great fit. The preparation shows, and lets the hiring influencers know that you are committed to making the most of the opportunity. Don’t make the interviewers do all the work!
Present. Being present is more than simply showing up. Listen carefully to what your interviewers ask, so you can answer their questions fully. Practice answering behavioural interview questions with answers that show your good fit with the company values or mission. Ensure your body language says you’re listening, too. At the end of most interviews, you’ll be given a chance to ask questions. Do prepare a few, but listen closely to the answers you’re given. Don’t ask the question and zone out, waiting for your chance to ask the next, interviewers will notice. Be brave enough to go off-script and follow up with an unrehearsed related topic. Asking follow-up questions based on the hiring influencer’s answer is a great way to show you were truly interested in the answer.
Polite. Business etiquette is undervalued. Being prepared and arriving promptly for your interview says you value the opportunity. A simple thank you note after you get home from the interview says that you value the hiring influencers’ time and effort. A thank you note to a recruiter when you get the job says you value their services. Manners are never wasted, as they make others feel connected to and valued by you.
With these three tips on making a connection during your interview, you show the hiring influencers that you are a great fit for the position, the team, and the organization. Even if you don’t get the job, you’ve left a great impression behind, which may last long enough to garner a recommendation for another opportunity!