Once you get to the interview stage, you are in that very exclusive candidate pool. They’ve selected only a few special people to be interviewed, to see whether you can fit into their culture. You have all the skills, so you need to be prepared. You only get one chance, just one chance to make that first impression.
So in essence, I’m going to boil it down. It really is a conversation between two people or a group of people. And you need to think of it that way. Yes, you’re going to be nervous. You’re not going to want to walk through that door. You’re not going to want to sit down before those people, or if it’s on zoom, you might have technical worries, or you might worry about what they perceive at the other end, but you need to show that you are the perfect candidate and you can fit into their culture. And you are going to do an amazing job.
To prepare for the interview you need to do lots of research. Research, Research, Research! With the advent of the internet in the last 20 years, it makes research so much easier from your chair at home. You don’t have to go down to the library and look up all those big thick books on this company or that company. You can do research on the internet on that company. There are multiple channels. You can Google the company.
Connect through LinkedIn
I would also suggest that you connect through LinkedIn with people who won’t be your exact boss, not in that funnel, but people who currently work at that company, preferably on the level where you’re applying to and network with them. And network with people who’ve recently left the company. By recently, I mean in the last nine months or so, certainly no more. Because those people can tell you all the dirt. They can share. They have no allegiance to that company anymore. They’ve left for some particular reason, maybe a new challenge or whatever, but they can tell you a lot.
So do your research and network with people who are currently there and who’ve recently left that company and you can get those names quite easily from LinkedIn.
When you do get into that job interview, whether it be via virtual communications, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or and of the multiple other channels or in-person, watch your body language and master the conversation.
If you’re already in an in-person job interview, you need to watch what’s called mirroring. Watch what they do at the other end, their gesticulations. Do they cross their legs? If so, don’t just cross your legs immediately. Take a little while and cross your legs. Or do they do other gesticulations? Always follow their body language. Mirroring is important.
Be Present at the Job Interview
Also smile, be present, be aware of everything that’s going on during the job interview, even if it’s a Zoom meeting, you need to be totally focused. Don’t have pets or kids wandering around behind you. If you are doing it from home, be focused. What’s interesting is in this COVID time when we’re on the virtual communications interviews have calmed down. The length of interviews has come down by 20% because they want to get from A to B in the fastest possible way. So the interview time has been dramatically reduced.
At the end of the job interview, ask what their agenda is for the interview process. When will you hear, when are they going to interview the last candidate? If you are the last candidate you ask when are they going to make their decision? It may be going to another interview round or ask when they’re going to make that final decision.
Here is a good tip for you. If you are in that middle or early part of that candidacy, and there are about four or five people after you, find out the last day when they’re going to be interviewing. Do yourself a favour…buy a very nice, very expensive, Thank you card. Thank them for their time and mention something about the interview and then courier that envelope to them so that it arrives on the day of the last interview. Psychologically, it puts your name at the forefront on the day that they are interviewing somebody else.
The more times you get your name in front of that person, the better it is going to be for you and how many people, snail mail or courier a thank you note today. Typically, if they have got any savvy, they send it via email. You need to make yourself stand out. So take this snail mail through a courier because we always always open courier envelopes. They’re multi-colored, they’re very special. And you want them to think that you are very special.
So hopefully I’ve answered most of your questions about being ready for the interview. If you are in career transition or want to advance your career, I’ll be happy to have a conversation with you. If you want to know more about my services, please fill out the form below or visit me on LinkedIn and invite me to connect.