Thursday, December 13, 2007

#4 of My Top 8 Behaviors for a Successful Interview

Remain Calm. A great way to make a good first impression is to master the interview butterflies. Feeling some stress is a natural response to the interviewing process, and most candidates experience it at some level. The trick is not to show it. Even though most aspects of the interview are outside a candidate’s control, it is important to leverage the things that are in your power. One example: give yourself a time cushion, and plan to arrive at the interview destination 10-15 minutes early. This will give you some extra time in case you get lost or find unexpected traffic travel conditions, or at very least allow an opportunity to compose yourself and relax a little. Another thing successful candidates do it anticipate questions they are likely to be asked, and give pre-thought to the answers. This bit of preparation will be a confidence booster and stress reliever. Whether any or all of those specific questions are asked, many of the answers often prove useful with respect to other questions. The more pre-work you do for the interview, the more it will calm the nerves.

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.

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.