Many candidates struggle with the interview process. It can be very difficult to know whether you are doing everything you need when so little feedback is provided from an interviewer. If you get an offer after an interview, it’s a pretty good sign that your interview skills are where they need to be. But if all you hear is a no thank you with no elaboration on why, how are you supposed to know whether you’re hitting all the right notes when you are in the interview chair. The harsh reality is that if you do not get the offer you’re looking for, then you are missing out on something when it comes to your interview skills.
The most important thing you should know about being successful in an interview is the need to connect with your interviewer. Help them get to know you both as a candidate and as a person. Be real. Be memorable. Give them a reason to want to continue the conversation at a later date. Building that emotional bridge will help you engage with your interviewer, help them see you as a potential teammate, and get them thinking about how you can add value in the role you are applying for.
You can count on every other candidate they interview having a similar set of skills and level of experience that make them qualified for the role. But it’s the candidate who is able to connect and built rapport with their interviewer that will land the job.
A tried and true emotional engagement strategy is the simple but powerful element of storytelling. This works well for businesses and for interviews both. Storytelling is a communication style designed to engage the listener. Stories are powerful because they allow the listener to put themselves in the shoes of the storyteller. It creates near-instantaneous emotional connections, and allows the teller to take the audience on a journey of discovery, where they can experience the history and achievements of the candidate in a real-world scenario. Storytelling helps bring those bullets on your resume to life, and give them meaning in the greater context of the role, making you a more interesting and personable candidate than anyone else just sticking to the facts of their resume.
Too many candidates focus on their responsibilities and tasks from previous roles when they really should be focusing on their successes and their results. Employers want to know what they did that made a difference for their past teams and past companies. What would you bring that is unique to you, if you were to join the team? If you can put your actions in context and highlight those positive results in a quantitative way (focus on the numbers), then you place yourself on a scale which they can easily compare other candidates to. Make sure you are highlighting the best of your work to bring your resume to the top of the pile, both during the application process and in the interview itself.
For more advice on how to shine in an interview, connect with our team of industry-leading career recruiters at USPRO today.
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