Job Interview Essentials: 13 Interview Tips to Land That Job

by Alex Freund

Job Interview Essentials

Interviewing for a position is tough. Many are called, but few are chosen. Following are some basic job interview facts and considerations you should keep in mind as you prepare for your next interview:

1) According to Albert Mehrabian, UCLA professor emeritus of psychology, 55% of communication has to do with body language. Therefore it makes sense to learn how to decode an interviewer’s body language and how to minimize your own body language mistakes during an interview.

2) People think of and remember images much better than they do words or text. When watching a movie, do you remember the images or the actor’s lines? You can see it’s imperative to convey a strongly positive image during an interview. It starts with the proper clothing and includes posture and a smile. An attractive image is memorable and catching.

3) Consider that the interviewer is the final authority of the outcome of the interview. The interviewer is the one who makes the decision. The best kind of interview contains professional and amicable dialogue, but at the end of the day, the candidate has to convince the hiring manager of being the ideal candidate.

4) To be hired, three conditions at minimum must be met. The candidate:

  • Must bring evidence of possession of the skills required to perform the job.
  • Must be a superhuman performer, not just an average one.
  • Must be able to discuss validation by influential others, not self.

5) Providing good interview answers is essential, but asking the right questions is at least as important. Ask strategic questions. Strategic questions are those types that bring the candidate closer to the goal of getting the job offer. Don’t ask tactical questions like how to do certain things, because asking tactical questions puts doubts in the interviewer’s mind. After all, the interviewer expects the candidate to have answers. That’s why the candidate is interviewing.

6) Typically, there are four types of interviews with very different objectives.

  • An interview with the big boss.
  • An interview with the hiring manager.
  • An interview with peers.
  • An interview with a human resources representative.

Each of those kinds of interviewers evaluates a candidate’s answers from a perspective different from the other interviewers’ perspectives.

7) Candidates are often too long on their past. In evaluating the applicant’s candidacy, the interviewer is focusing on the candidate’s future. And candidates should, too.

8) Interview preparation is key. Before an interview, most people prepare for perhaps only a couple of hours. That’s by far inadequate when there are several other candidates with excellent potential.

9) If the position a candidate is applying for is of great importance, the best approach is to work with an experienced interview coach. This is the differentiator, as opposed to those who prepare on their own.

10) Get used to twenty-first-century technology. For instance, more and more companies are using video interviews prior to in-person interviews. This demands another layer of hardship and complexity in addition to being prepared with content. For example, proper lighting, good quality of sound, and favorable placement of the camera at eye level are essential. If you’re using a laptop placed on the desk in front of you, it may be likely that the interviewer will focus more on your accentuated double chin and not your eyes.

11) At the very minimum, the candidate has to be superclear on the value proposition that answers the following four questions:

  • What is that you do?
  • Whom do you serve? or, Who are your customers?
  • What value do customers perceive in your services?
  • What do you offer that customers can’t get elsewhere?

12) The relationship between the interviewer and the candidate is identical to the relationship between a salesperson and a buyer. You’re the salesperson here, so be convincing by offering facts and not opinions. Otherwise, you won’t be fully trusted.

13) Last, in order to be hired, a candidate must leave the interviewer with good feelings about the candidate’s trustworthiness and likability.

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