You’ve likely heard lots of tips and suggestions to help you ace your job interview. All of that standard advice—do your research, prepare for commonly asked questions, dress for success, etc.—is valid and valuable. And there’s a good chance you know it and will use it.
But, that doesn’t mean that they’re everything you should be doing to make a great impression.
Here are four tips, some of which you may not have heard, to help you with your interview and set yourself apart from the competition:
Small talk can give you a big advantage
Lots of people make snap judgments. Hiring managers are no different. Studies have shown that most of them decide about a candidate in the first fifteen minutes of the interview. So, how can you make an impact at the get-go? Sharpen your small talk skills.
You probably assumed that the interview started after you sat down and started answering questions. Not really! It began with the seemingly insignificant exchange you had with the hiring manager about the weather, the Braves’ big win, or the morning traffic in Atlanta.
Get good at that small talk, and you’ll make an instant personal connection.
Take your cues from the interviewer
If the hiring manager looks relaxed and treats the interview like a casual conversation, don’t sit there like you’ve been called into the principal’s office. Match the interviewer’s style and relax a bit yourself.
Of course, you want to be authentic, but there isn’t anything fake about tailoring your manner to the company you’re hoping to work for. After all, your goal is to show that you’re a good fit for this company’s culture, and you can do that best by taking your cues from the person conducting the interview.
Combine a firm handshake with eye contact
Giving eye contact while shaking hands is not as easy as it sounds. It can be uncomfortable when you’re already nervous. But if you can lock eyes, give a firm handshake, and smile–all at the same time—you’ll give the impression of being a confident candidate before you even say a word.
Prepare one or two anecdotes
You’ve probably done the right thing and prepared your answers to those commonly asked questions. And then you practiced them until you could give those answers perfectly, no matter how anxious you might be. But if the interviewer throws you a curve and asks you one of those behavioral interview questions that start out with something like “Describe a time when…” you’ll need to be prepared.
Don’t be thrown off stride. Come to the interview ready with a couple of personal stories that you can relate if asked.
Could you use some professional help preparing for your interview?
When you work with our local Georgia recruiting company, we help you with your job search from the time you apply to the day you’re hired. Contact Focus of Georgia to use our resources to help you land your next job.