When you go in for an interview, it’s time to cover up the tattoos and put on your interview game face – keep answers to the point, avoid bringing up anything controversial, and remember to present the best possible version of yourself. For some of us, we think that frankly means, “Don’t be yourself.” But you might want to reconsider that method for your next interview. Think of it from your point of view: Do you want to spend eight hours a day with someone whom you have nothing in common, seems hesitant to do the job, and can’t have a pleasant conversation with? Neither do the interviewers.
- Confidence is key. Even if you have to fake it due to nerves, walk in with a calm, confident attitude. Have a firm handshake and look everyone in the eye. Smile and stand up straight. It helps if you seem pleased to be in the interview. Remind yourself that you’ve beaten out about 85% of the other applicants to get to this point–a definite confidence booster–although you need to tread the line carefully between confidence and arrogance. The latter will always turn off a potential employer and send the message that you don’t “play well with others.” Speak clearly and without a lot of “ums” and “you knows.” Hiring managers want someone self-assured about the way they handle the job.
- Your responses will reveal your “self.” When asked the usual tell-us-about-a-time-when questions, respond with upbeat personal stories from your work life that will reveal who you are and how you act in certain situations. True-life stories tell a hiring manager about you as an employee and a person–to put it another way, your (described) actions will speak louder than any words on a resume. Keep your opinions honest but polite – and yes, that is possible. If you tend to prefer working by yourself and get asked about collaborating with others, you can say, “While I do some of my best work solo, I enjoy and appreciate coming together with colleagues to see what we can accomplish together.”
- Don’t put on an act. Dress professionally for the position but feel free to add that extra little bit that shows you’re not just another suit on the rack, such as an eye-catching (but not distracting) piece of jewelry or your favorite polished wing-tip shoes. Laugh if something strikes you funny and don’t shy from injecting a little humor into your own responses if it fits. Look at the company’s website beforehand to see what you have in common with this company and its employees and make true connections if they exist. If a natural fit doesn’t seem to exist between you and the employer, it probably won’t work out in the long run anyway, so it’s worth it to be yourself. People want to hire someone with a good personality rather than someone completely devoid of one or one that doesn’t connect with their own.
If you want more advice on how to walk into an interview as someone the employer definitely wants to hire, reach out to the experienced staffing professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks for guidance. Good luck!