Looking for work isn’t what it used to be. Technology has revolutionized the way people connect with employers and showcase their talents, and yet one thing remains constant: the interview. This, Nicole Fallon writes in a post for Business News Daily, is the “make it or break it” point that leaves many jobseekers trembling in their boots. Interviews are definitely stressful, but by following Fallon’s “4 Surefire Ways to Impress a Hiring Manager,” you’ll have a leg up on the competition. Fallon’s advice comes via a panel of experts — read on to see what she suggests.
1. Be Ready for Anything — In the old days, job interviews were much simpler affairs. The hiring manager would ask you about to explain key points of your resume, and the questions were fairly straightforward and easy to predict. Nowadays, says Joyce Maroney, director of the The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc., “behavioral interviewing” is common. That entails “fewer questions involving recitation of your accomplishments” and more about reflecting on experiences and what they’ve taught you. “Candidates need to be open to experiencing different types of interviews,” adds Cristin Sturchio, global head of talent at business research company Cognolink.
2. Sell Yourself — At interviews, says Richard Maltz, a senior account manager at Instant Technology, you’re “both the sales person and the ‘product,” and that means telling the hiring manager what you can do for the company that no one else can. When you talk about past experiences, tie them directly to the job you’re interviewing and make the case for why you’re uniquely qualified for the job.
3. Take a Pause — There’s no need to answer a question the millisecond after it’s asked. As Fallon writes, nervousness sometimes leads jobseekers to answer questions right away and ramble on, and this is bad form. Think about what you want to say; it’ll show you’re paying attention, and it’ll save you from prattling on about nothing. Bryan Lewis, the chief operating officer at Cognolink, also recommends asking “clarifying questions to prove that you’re practicing active listening.”
4. Follow Up Properly — Everyone knows to send a thank-you email within 24 hours, but simply saying “thanks” isn’t enough. As Maroney says, you “should have picked up on specific objectives the hiring manager has for the position,” and the follow-up email is a chance to remind them how you can meet those objectives. You might even send along short- and long-term plans for what you’d accomplish if given the gig. Also: Ask about timeline, so you can avoid what Fallon calls “overcommunciating.” “The goal is to keep yourself in the hiring manager’s mind but not to the point of being bothersome,” Maltz said.