So, you were selected for an interview. Congratulations! Now what? Preparation and practice is the foundation to ace the interview. According to a study by Classes and Careers, 33% of hiring managers know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether or not they will hire a candidate. And according to Sally Hogshead, author of Fascinate, introductions have a 90% failure rate. From my experience in conducting interviews and in preparing my clients for interviews, unsuccessful interviews have four things in common – I call these the 4 C’s.
1) Lack of Connection
From the moment you enter the interview, you have 7 seconds to make a first impression. It is important to build instant rapport. Keep in mind that what you actually say only makes up 7% of your overall impact – the other 93% includes how you show up (your attitude), dress, and act. Enter the room with confidence and give a firm handshake. To set the tone, maintain eye contact and smile. Find common ground with your interviewer. Using appropriate humour is a great way to break the ice and build a connection. Finally, master a glowing introduction that highlights who you are, what you have accomplished, and what unique value you bring.
2) Lack of Confidence
If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect an employer to believe in you? Though you may not feel confident moments before the interview, social psychologist Amy Cuddy has found that appearing confident is half the battle.
Practice the high power pose – stand tall, stretch and set positive intentions. This is proven to ensure that you are perceived as more confident in your abilities. It will help you deal with the most daunting obstacle of interviewing: the anxiety. This is the hesitation, doubt, and over-thinking that negatively impacts many job seekers. These feelings can result in you coming across as passive, failing to think on your feet, or failing to be present in the interview. Leave the ‘ums’, ‘ahs’, and ‘ers’ behind. Show up fully and speak with confidence to demonstrate that you are the best candidate to hire.
3) Lack of Clear Communication
Effective verbal communication is the number one skill that employers look for in a candidate. Having conducted thousands of interviews as a Recruiter, I have found that most unsuccessful candidates lack structure and don’t get to the point with their message. This makes their answers difficult to follow and understand. To communicate effectively, structure your interview by using the ‘Rule of 3’s’. The brain naturally thinks in threes, so identify three key marketing points that illustrate why you are the best candidate. Repeat these throughout the interview and reiterate them at the end. This will make it easier for your interviewer to take notes and remember your message.
4) Lack of Compelling Reasons
Most of the time, candidates lack reliable evidence that justifies their qualifications. Employers want to know how you can help solve their problems and grow their business. Come prepared with quantifiable data and relevant success stories. Prepare a compelling set of answers to the three important why’s: Why this company? Why this role? Why you?
Though the interview may seem daunting, know that the difficult part is getting an interview. Once you have received an interview, you already have a 28% chance of getting the offer. Work on these 4 C’s, you will increase the likelihood of getting hired.