Only one of out of hundreds of applicants get hired for a job opening. And half of the time that one applicant turns out to be not suitable anyway. This is because all applicants are doing and saying the same thing.
Here is a list of things to do and say to help you gain the attention of the interviewer.
Just doing this alone is about half the battle. Looking away or averting eye contact is a serious problem and probably shows that you are not sure of yourself or what you are doing.
A study conducted in 1989 assures that simple eye contact could make a person fall in love with you (Kellerman, Lewis, and Laird).
You may think that this is stupid, but if you can get the interviewer to like you, then that goes a long way in them short-listing you and advocating for your hire with their colleagues when decision time comes along.
Keep the stare going at all times, even when they are not looking at you.
And don't forget to sit facing the interviewer directly. Do not turn your body to the side or keep looking away.
Leaning slightly forward denotes interest and eagerness on your part. Also, if the interviewer is leaning forward it means they are also interested in you.
But do not lean forward immediately, instead sit up straight.
When you get more comfortable in the interview - generally after a few minutes - you can begin to lean forward a bit more.
Never lean backwards. It shows disinterest in the whole interview and will rapidly turn off an interviewer.
You may think that this makes you comfortable. But it suggests to the other person that you are closed off and unreceptive to conversation and ideas.
Keep your hands in your lap or at your sides. Do not put your arm on the interviewers desk. Do NOT put your hands in your pocket either.
You can wave your hands to make a point which is very helpful.
Your goal in the interview is to appear open-minded.
Smiling is contagious and brings levity to a moment. However it should not be done too much or you may seem frivolous. The best times to smile are when you are greeting the interviewer or leaving, or of course, when someone says something funny.
For the love of G*d, please do some homework on the company that calls you in for an interview. Here are a list of things you should find out:
* What the company does
* What products or services are its biggest sellers
* How old is the company
* Who are the founders/president/owners
* Approximately how many people work there
Knowing these basics will help remove anxiety and put you above most of the other applicants who will have come in empty handed.
More than likely the internet has all these facts already and a little diligent searching the day before the interview will go a long way.
When we are alone or with friends we tend to fidget or shake our legs or keep moving all the time. In an interview, try to hold a position as long as possible and keep your body fixed, but be relaxed.
Fidgeting means your'e nervous or disinterested or just looking to get out of there as quickly as possible.
If you take too long to answer a question, it generally means that you don't have an answer for it or you are trying to formulate an answer on the fly.
This puts across that you would be unprepared while doing the actual job - if you were hired.
If you don't know the answer to a question -- ask if you can look it up on your phone. This is actually a good move - because it shows that you are resourceful and realize that pretty much all answers are online in some fashion.
If you are applying for a job that shows your competence in some area. Bring along some proof of that.
* If you are a writer, bring samples
* If you are a artist or photographer have samples
* If a programmer, bring some code
* If you provide a service - bring photos of you doing that service
Be ready to talk about what you did that was a success in the past. For example if you have some kind of service competency where you cannot bring in evidence -- talk about an aspect of it that you know a lot about.
The interviewer needs to know that you can do the job. So you have to demonstrate it.
Most jobs are in smaller companies that dress casually. Normally there is no need to wear a suit and tie. The exception is if you are going into a large company with a strict dress code.
How to find out?
Stake out the company a few days before. Go stand in front of the office in the morning or evening and see how people dress when coming or leaving.
Now you know the dress code and can dress to match what people are wearing in there.
Be a little nicer. But don't be the guy or girl dressed in a suit when everyone normally wears jeans and a t-shirt. Instead if people normally wear a t-shirt, wear a nice untucked shirt.
If they normally wear a suit and tie, try to wear a nicer suit or pair of shoes.
Going through the interview is not hard. As you can see, the main problem is doing your homework. This is what most people fail to do.
I've hired and fired and interviewed many, many people over the years and I have seen it all. So if you have any questions, please hit the "ASK" button below.