Believe it or not, many times, how you interview and present yourself will weigh more on whether you get a job than your actual credentials. Employers look for much more than just technical skills when going through the hiring process.
We know this because we talked with Joe Jedlowski, an experienced CEO and business leader. He has interviewed his fair share of candidates over his decades-long career and knows exactly what executives are looking for in interviews.
Joe Jedlowski believes that a good interview starts before you even enter the room. When you know you have an interview coming up, you should research the company, its goals, and its achievements.
This will not only make you more knowledgeable during the interview and show that you care about the company, but it will boost your confidence. Check the company’s website, their social media pages, and anything you can find in the press. This may also give you an insight into the company’s culture and attitude.
How you present yourself is crucial. Dress for success is a popular phrase for a good reason. Dress well, and be confident in everything you say.
It’s okay to be nervous, but still, greet the interviewer(s) with a handshake and a smile. Answer their questions clearly. Do not mumble. And present yourself as someone that people want to be around and as someone they can trust with their company processes and secrets.
Joe Jedlowski gave us a pro-tip in the form of storytelling. Telling true stories is not only easy, but it shows two things. First of all, it shows confidence in speaking.
Telling an engaging story is one of the best ways to build a rapport between yourself and the interviewer and show that you’re someone that is pleasant to be around. Secondly, storytelling can be used to show off your skillset if you tell stories relevant to the job you are interviewing for.
Joe Jedlowski says one of the biggest mistakes he found when he was interviewing young, bright-eyed candidates is that many of them just wouldn’t listen. He would ask a question, and they would answer something completely unrelated.
Or they would assume they knew where his question or sentence was going and answer something unrelated. Listen to your interviewer, and don’t wing it. If you do not understand a question or something they say, then ask for clarification.
Trust me; it’s a positive trait to ask for clarification instead of doing something the wrong way, whether in an interview or on the job.
Obviously, you shouldn’t trash talk the interviewer, but you should also not talk down about any friends, professors, or previous employers. Joe Jedlowski says that this behavior is a huge red flag for interviewers.
Whenever a candidate comes in and makes 100 excuses and blames 100 other people for problems they’ve faced or jobs they’ve lost, it shows the interviewer that they can’t take responsibility for their own actions. It also makes them wonder how that candidate will react if something were to go wrong on a project.
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