Do You Want To Be A Memorable Interviewee? Read On.
You know that feeling when you meet someone for the first time and you just click? You hit it off completely and leave saying, “Wow, that person is awesome!”
We want you to have the same interaction during/after an interview. How do you do this? How do you create a memorable interview? In addition to the usual interview etiquette of wearing appropriate clothes, turning up on time, not chewing gum or smelling of cigarette smoke, and of course – preparing solid answers to the behavioural questions you will likely be asked, we have asked around the organisation and compiled the three most mentioned tips to help you. These might seem small, but they are powerful!
DISCLAIMER: Let’s start off by stating the fact that the word ‘memorable’ has neither positive nor negative connotations, so we must clarify that in this particular instance, we are referring to memorable in a favourable sense – i.e. memorable for all the right reasons. (Not memorable because you got so nervous, you called the CEO dad, then walked face-first into a pane of extraordinarily clean glass as you got up to leave …Wow. Memorable, well, yes. Trainwreck, also yes. )
Smile and make eye contact. (Just don’t forget to blink – the line between friendly and creepy is thin). Mirroring is a powerful phenomenon that happens on a subconscious level during social interactions. The eye contact smile combination, and just generally bringing a positive, friendly attitude, helps disarm people. Even if they are made of stone and don’t smile back, they will still internalise those positive vibes and remember you as a warm and engaging individual.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The: ‘triple threat’. Smiling + making eye contact + giving a firm handshake is important – just don’t go overboard crush peoples hands, Arnie!
Smiling without eye contact - has the opposite effect and gives the message that you are shy and not taking the opportunity seriously.
Grinning from ear to ear like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland, or smiling to the point of silly, giggly, nervous laughter. Not a good look!
Do your research on the company. Feedback from countless employers shows that interviewees that knew details about the company they were interviewing with, were received very positively. Additionally this was often being remarked upon as one of the factors that played into the interviewers decision to hire the candidate. Check out the company website, read publically available information such as annual reports, published articles etc. You want to understand areas such as their vision, goals, service offering, business growth, what makes them unique in the market, and the direction they are heading.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Research the company, yes – not the CEO or individual staff members’ personal info. The goal is to look interested and informed, not stalker-ish!
Be careful not to bring up anything controversial such as public gossip/news headlines, or money/finances (unless the job you are applying for is the CFO position, of course!)
Only bring things up when relevant/when prompted to do so. (i.e. What do you know about us?) It’s good to know company info, but remember you are there to talk about yourself and your merits in relation to the job, not give them a PowerPoint presentation on their own business.
Confidence. We tell people time and time again that interviews are a two way street. They are scrutinising you and your skills and experience, yes; so it’s ok for you to quietly scrutinise them right back! They have seen something in your CV/LinkedIn profile, which has made them want to take things to the next level, so take some comfort in that. Now they want to meet you face to face and make the human connection to see how you will fit into their organisation. Be the polished, professional, legend that you are and trust us, they will take notice.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
When we say confidence, we mean quiet, composed confidence – not shirt open, lean-back-with-your-feet-on-the-desk, confidence.
In the downtime before or after an interview make sure you stay ‘on’ and in interview mode. You don’t want to be sitting slumped in your chair, scrolling Instagram as they enter the room. That is a one-way ticket to looking totally inauthentic.
If you are looking for more ways to leave a lasting impression, check out Aja Frost’s (The Muse) article detailing 10 ways to make sure the interviewer remembers you, which has some incredibly unique ways you can attempt to be remembered. themuse.com/advice/10-ways-to-make-sure-the-interviewer-remembers-you-in-a-good-way Some of these are very clever, but we advocate getting the basics right before getting too 'cray-cray' with it. Exercise these sparingly and at your own risk.
Remember if you get stuck with how to prepare for your next interview, and you need some one-on-one assistance ensuring it is memorable for all the right reasons, we can help.