Whenever we go on an interview, we try to think like an employer and come up with the right answers to the questions he believe that he or she will ask. But is it all about the right answers, being polite, and having a lot of experience? In fact, even if you have a lot of experience, you simply may not fit the hiring manager’s standards, and two years of experience cannot help you in that case. There are many experts in any given field, and what makes them different are their characteristics and traits, which will affect the final decision of an employer.
When we go for an interview, we all suddenly find religion and start talking to God. However, instead of praying and imagining yourself begging employers for a chance, try to work on yourself, so that you can be one step ahead of the hiring manager. Here is a little bit of insight into an employer’s mind, which will eventually help you become the best candidate.
1. They Carefully Read Your Resume
It’s incredibly important to have a well-written application, because it shows your dedication and willingness to put in the extra effort for the company. Moreover, they will see your professionalism and maturity when reading it, so forget about funny templates and humorous points. Don’t lie in your resume, because it won’t do you any good. It’s a lot better to be honest and clear, than to fill out your resume with unnecessary and false information.
Hiring managers will carefully read your resume and cover letter before they call you for an interview. Feel free to be original in your cover letter, because this can really make you stand out from the pile of boring applications. You have one shot, so don’t be afraid to grab it by using your creativity and innovation.
2. The First Impression Gives You a Head Start
The first impression includes everything you do when you enter the office. It takes 90 seconds or less to create a first impression, based on both your verbal and nonverbal actions. We all make judgments according to our first impressions, and employers usually make the decision whether they’ll hire you or not during the first minute of the conversation. Of course, their opinion may change during the interview.
According to the Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov study on first impressions, people made a judgment 1/10 of a second after seeing the face of a candidate. Moreover, longer exposure increased their confidence in their initial judgment. The trait that was mostly related to a candidate’s appearance was trustworthiness.
Therefore, when you enter the office, greet people confidently and introduce yourself well by speaking clearly and loudly enough. Also, don’t forget the firm handshake, because it will show them you are confident and trustworthy. You need to use these precious few seconds wisely.
3. Dress for Success
When you meet another person, you cannot avoid judging them based on their clothes and style. Even if you don’t care about the way you or other people dress, you will subconsciously attribute certain characteristics to another person based on appearances. So, if a person wears casual and sloppy clothes, you will think of them as irresponsible and unprofessional. However, wearing elegant or somewhat stylish clothes will certainly leave a good impression, and will affect the opinion of employers. All employers look for a well-dressed employee, as they need to contribute to the reputation of a company, by leaving a good impression on clients and business associates.
Regarding the shoes, women seldom make a mistake, but men tend to wear prom shoes or something they only wear at weddings. The majority of hiring managers think that shoes are extremely important during the interview, as they reflect someone’s maturity and professionalism. So, suit up, dress appropriately and don’t forget about your shoes.
4. Employers Look for Easy-Going People
When hiring someone, all employers have to think of fitting in with the team, which means being easy-going and friendly. They are looking for a positive attitude, and a person who will be able to get along with other employees easily. This isn’t because they want you to be BFFs, but because the most important thing in business is being able to effectively communicate with your co-workers when working on different projects and tasks.
Therefore, show that you are relaxed, funny and friendly, but be careful not to look like a standup comedian. When it comes to verbal communication during the interview, your chances can be greatly increased if your voice can be heard clearly and you avoid using fillers such as “um”, “like”, “uh”, “mm”, etc. A quiet voice and these fillers will ruin your credibility, and probably make the whole interview pretty boring.
Don’t learn your speech by heart, because you will sound weird or like you are working for some call center. It’s better not to prepare for the interview, than trying to remember a speech whilst staring nervously at the interviewer.
5. They All Look for the Same Traits
Every employer knows what traits he or she is looking for in a candidate depending on the job. Some may look for someone who is detail-oriented, whereas some might look for a big-picture thinker. However, there are traits that almost every job requires, and that leave a good impression on employers.
Responsibility – this the most important trait, as every employer wants their employee to come to work on time, respect deadlines and focus on their tasks. Confidence – people who are confident in themselves have a clear picture of what they want to achieve and they trust their instincts. Self-motivation – companies try to motivate their employees by providing an outstanding work environment, and by giving them various benefits. However, a person who is not self-motivated is nearly impossible to motivate to do their job effectively. Organized – being organized means that you have good time-management skills and that you can finish all tasks efficiently and in record time.
These four traits are important for every job, and if you don’t possess any of them, work on them in order to rock the interview.
6. They Look for a Person Who is a Leader
Being a leader means being competent, having good judgment and vision, and taking initiative. No one wants to hire a person who won’t try to contribute to a company by having original and creative ideas. It’s not important to just have a groundbreaking idea, you also need to think about going beyond the limits.
Also, leaders aren’t babies and they don’t need someone to approve everything – they are competent enough to take the initiative. Employers want a person who is able to be a leader, which means they are passionate, willing to learn, understand the meaning of teamwork and are willing to admit mistakes in order to correct them in a way that they benefit them.
An employer can find out all of these things in just 10 minutes, by asking one simple question – “Why have you applied for the job?” Think of yourself as James Bond and nail the interview by saying everything they want to hear, just don’t get into the role too much and flirt with hiring managers.