Interviewing – Make a Great First Impression
A company was looking for an assistant recruiter. This was a huge technology company with a campus, marble everywhere, a stocked kitchen and pretty polished. As you can imagine, tons of candidates interviewed for the role. One candidate had prior experience as a sales administrator, and she was a referral from one of the managing directors. She walked in and automatically didn’t blend into the environment. It was a very conservative environment, and she had a black knit suit on with fringe on the skirt and jacket and big gold buttons. Shoes were scuffed and she didn’t bring anything with her. Answers weren’t memorable, didn’t do her research on the company and didn’t have any questions of her own to ask.
Needless to say – she didn’t get the job. And that candidate was me. Can’t tell you how badly I wanted that job – and now I’m going to walk you through all the things that I did wrong in the hopes that you can learn something.
1. I didn’t research the company. Internet wasn’t the plethora of information it is today – but I should have been creative, found resources and studied that company inside and out if I wanted the job.
2. Dress the part. I asked my mom – who I love dearly- what I should wear. My mom is Jersey fab (I’m from New Jersey) and always looks fantastic. But it’s really glittery evening and formal attire. Completely inappropriate for an interview and especially at this company.
3. Exude confidence. I did not. I was uncertain and unsure of myself and it showed. How could I possibly talk to people all day long and convince them to come work for the company?
4. Use CAR statements. If you want to make your interview tell stories using CAR statements. It highlights your strengths and makes it interesting for the interviewer. It’s all about making it memorable and making an in impact.
5. Ask questions. Never leave the interview without asking some thoughtful questions. Organic questions through current conversation are best as well as ones you’ve prepared through your research.
Putting the time and effort into fully preparing for the interview will only make you shine. Showcasing your strengths, asking the right questions and connecting the dots as to where you experience matches the skills the interview is seeking always makes a favorable impression.
Kelley Dadah is a career coach specializing helping clients with career transition, personal branding job search strategy and interview preparation.