The economy is in recovery mode and the job market is tough for everyone from new graduates to seasoned experts. Tons of qualified people are all out interviewing for the same desirable positions. The U.S. unemployment rate for 2012 was at an average 7.8 percent with 12.2 million people out of work. That average has gone down to about 5.82 in 2014 but is still relatively high compared to before the recession. A great interview is an essential asset to rope in your ideal career. Here are some quick and easy tips that will make you an appealing job candidate.
Dress like a boss
First impressions are extremely important. By overdressing for an interview, you are subconsciously giving your interviewer the impression outwardly that you show leadership qualities. Not only does it show that you are professional and serious about the position that you are applying for, but it also plays into your interviewers hope that you will work to impress them. Similar to dressing up for a date, putting on your best blazer, button down combo communicates respect for your interviewer, that you took the time to groom yourself for meeting with them. For info about what to avoid, follow these tips by Monster.com.
How well prepared you are for your interview communicates to your interviewer how you will handle larger, more important tasks. Bring a pencil and notepad, bring copies of your resume for everyone you know will be in the meetings and do some research the position, hiring manager, and company. Greg Wells, Vice President of Human Resources & Employee Development at Blue Cross Blue Shield, said, “It is important for a potential employee to know something about the company and the job that you are applying for. Do your research, the more specific you can get when answering a question pertaining to a company, the more impressed your interviewer will be.” Besides sounding prepared, knowing about your interviewer and company will help you make a more personal connection, which will ultimately help you stand out from other candidates.
Positivity can impact pay
Employers look for people in an interview who are smart and qualified, outwardly positive, and want to help the company improve. Express that you are energetic and looking to learn and do more than your potential job qualifies.
“You might not be getting paid for it at the time, but you will be increasing your expertise and making yourself a valuable asset to the company. Those are the front-runners for raises and promotions,” Said Wells.
Develop a game plan
Prepare a defensive strategy for answering any questions that an interviewer will throw at you. I once had to toss all of my prepared answers for a more relational interview, where the person who became my boss asked me about my favorite books and who I would consider to be a mentor in my life. Prepare to answer both the typical and atypical questions you may recieve, and feel free to direct the question back to the information you want to deliver. Your best plays and MVP moments can always be crafted into your answers.
Write a thank you letter
The traditional mailed-in thank you letter seems to be on route to extinction. Which is lucky for you because now it’s something that will help you stand out. Due to the fast-paced, tech-based world that we live in, emails also do the trick, but nothing trumps the value of a handwritten thank you letter.
For more leadership tips to make you stand out in an interview or when you get the job, check out our latest book LeadershipYOU: Your Future Starts With You.