“If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got” goes the saying. It is common for a candidate to be disappointed when he/she does not get selected and the story repeats itself across multiple interviews. Majority of the candidates experience this, however, they fail to learn from the experience. Isn’t life all about evolving with every step? On the basis of my experience of over 3 decades in recruitment and hiring, I will share with you 10 key things you can learn from each interview, then rate yourself and dramatically improve your selection ratio. These are tips which hold good when you appear for the first interview.
1] Were you on time?
Seems very basic and many take it for granted. Being 10 minutes early is mandatory. A late arrival can upset the tone and mood of the interviewer and affects receptivity.
2] Did you do in-depth research on the company and the business pain-points about the job?
Connecting with vendors, retails, agents, customers to gather real and updated information which will help you prepare better is critical. It makes you stand out as a candidate because 90% of the candidates do not take this extra effort.
3] Do you know anyone in the prospective organisation?
In case you learn that there is someone known to you professionally in the company, it is a good idea to gather further details about the specific pain points about the job. Any information that helps you prepare better. A word of caution though- not to overdo and use the reference contact to push your case aggressively. It has to be used judiciously and in case your interview has gone off well and you are shortlisted, putting in a word at the suitable stage may be helpful.
4] Did you develop a rapport with the interviewer?
Rapport, as we know, is defined as a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well
It is important to know the interviewer’s name as it reflects confidence. And interest level. The beginning of the interview generally is about you describing yourself and your qualities. It is important that you do so enthusiastically and shares your strengths that match the job role’s requisite and not about your capability in general.
5] Was the interviewer engaged?
Were your responses convincing enough with live success stories which got the interviewer engaged in asking you how achieved them?
With each interview, it is important that you are well prepared with live demonstrable examples of success in each specific key result area of the job’s requirement. Interviewers are interested in the how because that builds confidence that you will be able to handle similar situations in the prospective company.
6] Did you ask good questions?
Asking good questions like …….what are the 3 most important qualities you are looking for in a candidate for the role serves as a feedback mechanism of how close you are to meeting the requirement. Or What is the biggest challenges that you face in this role when it comes to delivering results offers an indication of what you need to focus on as a candidate. After you develop an initial rapport, it is easier for you to place this kind of questions during the course as the interview progresses.
7] Was your body language positive and confident?
Before the interview, you need to do positive affirmations combined with visualisations with charged up emotions telling yourself that you are succeeding at the interview. And that affects your body language positively. Importantly, were you dressed appropriately?
8] Did you write a thank you note?
A thank you note post each interview does two things – a] it makes you stand out as a candidate ( it helps improve recall) and reflects your enthusiasm because most candidates do not send one. b] You can use it as an opportunity to fill up any critical gap in your answers which you realised could have been handled better. It can include some quick research you would have done post the interview and gathered an interesting point. However, your note needs to be crisp and refer to only one critical point related to the job which you would have gathered during your interview; not multiple areas because that may reflect desperation and can backfire.
9] Was your mobile on silent mode?
During the interview, receiving calls or even the mobile ringing is a distraction. Avoid it totally.
10] Have you made a list of questions that you could not answer or respond to convincingly?
Which were the questions to which your responses did not seem to have a positive impact? These serve as a learning for your next interview and you improve your performance getting you closer to the requirement.
And last but not the least, don’t lose faith in yourself and the highest power there is in the universe: You will certainly improve your hit rate ratio if after every interview you reflect and work towards improving your performance. However most importantly keep the faith, persevere and employers who deserve you will select you.
Follow these after every interview and you are certain to meet with success in getting that dream job.
Happy job hunting!!