Tuesday, December 11, 2007

#5 of My Top 8 Behaviors for a Successful Interview

#5: Beware of the small talk. Small talk plays an important role in the interview by helping to break the ice and put both parties at ease. But be careful: it is easy to make costly mistakes during the informal periods like walking between interviews or at lunch when guard is down. Strive for a happy medium in your comments. Saying too little can make you seem aloof or afraid. Saying too much can alienate, and come across as obnoxious or worse. If the hiring manager asks whether traffic was heavy or if you had problems with the directions they provided, offer more than just a "yes" or "no" answer, but be sure not to chatter needlessly.

Over the course of my experience, I have conducted hundreds of employment interviews for positions ranging from shop floor to executive level. After awhile you begin to notice that successful candidates did certain behaviors that contributed to their positive outcome. Likewise, the unsuccessful candidates have certain other actions in common which did led to their not being chosen or at the very least, did not help them.

Many hiring managers say they can often tell if someone is the right fit for his or her organization just minutes after the handshake. In a recent Robert Half survey, executives polled said they typically form an opinion of a candidate within the first ten minutes of an employment interview. With such a short amount of time to interact with a hiring manager, what can the candidate do to achieve a positive response?

No matter what position level or career experience, doing these eight behaviors will help a candidate get an edge over the competition.

No comments: