What makes the perfect candidate? At the end of interviews, a hiring manager usually has 2 or 3 candidates. So, what’s the difference between the finalist candidate and the others? Usually two things: A stronger rapport with the hiring manager and less small mistakes.
A strong rapport – A positive relationship with the boss is one of the factors that keep employees committed to a job. The same is true with a hiring manager. They want someone who is not only competent, but one who fits into the culture, team and philosophy. This kind of connection begins with the hiring interviews. A manager is more likely to hire a candidate with whom they can relate, who demonstrates that they understand the performance expectations of the organization, and can commit to their mission and goals.
You as a candidate can affect the rapport with the hiring manager by the way you relate to him/her. This can be accomplished by the way you answer questions, by the questions you ask, and by the positive behavior you provide that you can do the job. Articulate in a clear way, issues that you have solved in a similar situation, or alternative potential solutions. In addition, demonstrate that you fit nicely into the “team”.
Less small mistakes – Small mistakes made during interviews can be eliminated by correcting them before they knock you off the candidate list.
- Keep calm and confident – This is easier said than done by jumpy, unsure candidates. Jittery nerves or a lack of self confidence will show you in a poor light. Practice answering interview questions beforehand with a coach to find the best answers to most asked questions. I know of at least 50 of them.
- Connect with support people – Be engaging with administrative assistants/receptionist and peers. It can pay off big time. You don’t want them to covey to the hiring manager that their next appointment is with a grouch. Smile, be polite, and make positive conversation.
- Appearance – Small things can add up, like:
- Check in the mirror before going in for an interview. A positive appearance Is important.
- Make sure you’re not using too much perfume or after shave, nor smell like a smoker
- Get rid of chewing gum, candy or breath mints before the interview
- Bring a notebook with several resumes in it, just in case. Take notes during an interview, but sparingly: Expectations, group goals, or key information. It shows you’re serious.
- Be prepared with a list of potential references. It’s a good sign when asked. It’s not so good if your caught unaware and have to make it up before contacting the references.
At the end of the interview, state that you’re highly interested in the job and the reasons why you can be an effective contributor. Go back to your notes and reinforce your understanding of goals and expectations. That’s what the hiring manager wants to hear. Follow up with a thank you note.
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