Hundreds of applications and candidatures are scanned before the final Accept/Decline decision is made. Often people give similar answers to the select set of questions in interviews because they don`t put due thought into the different aspects important for the role and organization and what could distinguish them.
Did you go in for an interview believing you are a FIT? When faced with a “What is it that went wrong?” situation, you have to empathize and think like the recruiter and his/her view of the BEST FIT. Your responsibility then is to try and gauge what employers look for in candidates and match the job requirements with the right kind of talent. You have to ask yourself one very simple question which is “Would you hire YOU?”
From my experience, I have put together 10 things you can do differently to make sure you are able to wow the recruiter and get closer to hearing “You’re hired!”
Be Supremely Creative – Creativity is inexhaustible, when you prepare your pitch, try being original, crisp and punchy with the same so that it gets some colour and stays in the mind of the recruiter for a long enough time. At least as much time as it takes to interview all the candidates such that your pitch differentiates you at the end!
Strike a general chord with the Interviewer – Start talking about a general topic. If it is a general discussion which could be off the context, don’t just shy away and nod your head along, instead grab the opportunity to strike a sense of familiarity and consider it your chance to convert this interview into an interaction.
Always say “Yes” to coffee or tea – This is a tip which you should carry for all your professional interactions and meetings. If you are asked, never say “No, thanks!” to tea/coffee, always say “yes!!” It buys you sometime with the recruiter/interviewer. Plus, it makes the discussion more personal and detailed.
Connect with the organization in every possible way! – Before you step in for the interview, you should be as good as anyone working in the company when it comes to knowledge and being well versed about the company, its operations, its core values, its social presence and everything that there is about the company that’s accessible to a layman. Basically, do your homework well, connect with the Company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Spend time reading up stuff that’s trending about the company, this will also give you an insight into the organizational culture and the way of work in there.
Stay Connected – Even if you do not bag that job, don’t lose the connections that you can potentially nurture, this is what I meant by striking a chord. Once back from the interview, try to connect with the recruiter through your LinkedIn profile, but mind you, this doesn’t mean nagging them with messages and inappropriate status updates but just a gentle reminder of your willingness to have them for the keeps as part of your professional network. It could mean just sending a thank you note to the panel too. There have been cases where I have gone back to people I had previously rejected and actually hired them because I distinctly remembered them for the communication they struck with me post the interview expressing their genuine interest and passion for the opportunity.
Walk in gracefully! – Walk into the interview believing that you are extraordinary. Let your aura be so strong that when you enter the room, people feel it. Remember that the initial 2 minutes and your answer to the most commonly asked question “Tell me about yourself” sets up the tone for the entire interview and also decides how long it goes on for. Make sure you give it your best shot!
Dress to Success! – Make sure you are dressing smart and for the professional setup. But do not overdo it. Pick the attire which makes you feel most confident, this could be your favourite colored shirt or just something you feel good about yourself wearing.
The Right Eye Contact & The Perfect Handshake – Make sure you are not looking at the sky and are maintaining proper eye contact with those who are asking the questions and also with others on the panel (if any) while you answer questions. This shall speak volumes about your confidence level. Handshakes are very important too. They should be firm yet warm and should be accompanied with a soft nod so that respect and acknowledgment comes across naturally. There have been times, when aggressive handshakes have put me off so the key is to be subtle and impactful at the same time.
No fillers, and the right pitch, tone & volume – Make sure you are not using too many fillers like umm, ahh, etc. and are in control of your volume, pitch and tone. It is always advisable not to directly jump onto answering a question without thinking it through. We don’t usually mind the candidate taking some time before answering in order to make sense.
Ask the right questions – Interviews, these days are increasingly ending with recruiters asking the candidates if they have any questions for them. Don’t say “No, thanks!” again and exploit this opportunity to ask the right questions. It could be something as simple as “I would like to know more about your role in the organization and how’s your experience been”.
It is also advised to send a follow up email after the interview to thank the recruiter for his time.
If you keep the above in mind, it should be easy for you to WOW the Recruiter with your presence, and if not today, he’d reach out to you in the future. Good and bad first impressions die hard so make sure you are making the right one!
Hope the tips help and you keep them handy when you go in for your next interview. Do share your recruitment experiences and also ways to WOW the recruiters that you might have figured out and I haven’t! It’d be great to hear from all of you as comments to this post.2