They’re not so different from you and I
, hiring managers. When you apply for a position, they’re starting from scratch, gathering information about you, picking up signals and making a judgment call.
If this was your business — and finding the right person was your goal — who would you hire and why? You might start by paying attention to some of these telltale interview signs of the right (or wrong) fit, which can increase your chances of getting a job offer:
A customized cover letter and resume
It doesn’t matter how experienced or qualified you are if your resume doesn’t get read. One way to get a hiring manager’s attention is to include keywords in your cover letter and resume. Read through required skills and responsibilities in the job description, do a little company research and reflect these things in the way you describe yourself and your skills.
An employer is looking for signs that you understand the industry, company culture and what’s expected of you. It’s important for them to know you feel strongly enough about getting this position that you would invest time in being prepared.
Dress to impress
First impressions are everything. Fair or not, your appearance, body language and the way you speak and carry on a conversation say a lot about you — especially in those critical first moments.
Give yourself a head start and dress professionally, be courteous and positive. Being professional doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be yourself. This position needs to be a good fit for everyone involved.
No one wants to feel like they have to convince you to work here. Hiring managers want to interview someone who seems genuinely excited about working for the company.
This is where you can shine. Ask pointed questions that show you did your research. Come into the interview with an understanding of the industry, the organization, the challenges and opportunities they face and how you can help.
In the end, you want to be someone your employer can count on.
Avoid trash talk
Badmouthing an old boss or co-worker says volumes more about you than it does them. And everyone knows it’s much easier to point a finger than it is to take responsibility.
Stick to the positive things you’ve taken away from previous positions and professional relationships. Interviewers want to know that you’ll be a loyal employee and co-worker, someone who will work well as a member of the team. Demonstrating a tendency to find fault will only cast you in a negative light.
A thank you note
Some things never change. People like to feel appreciated. And taking the time to jot off a physical or email thank you shows you appreciate their time and consideration.
It also shows what they can expect when they hire you. That is,
someone who is thoughtful, insightful and courteous.
Do your research and make sure this an organization, culture and position you are excited about. Then prepare for the interview as if you were the person for which the job description was written. With a little work, you will be the obvious choice.
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