How To Make the Best Interview Impression

How To Make the Best Interview Impression

To ace the interview and get the job, it’s important to connect with (and impress) the hiring manager. But just pitching your qualifications for the job may not be enough to make it happen. In the end, sealing the deal means making the best impression, convincing the interviewer that you’re not only the right person to solve their problems, but also the person they want to work with every day.

Many candidates focus so intently on their resumes and answering interview questions that they forget that the hiring process involves a lot of relationship building. To get the job, you need to click with the person with the power to give you the position. And that means getting the hiring manager on your side.

7 Ways To Get the Hiring Manager on Your Side

Here’s how to do it:

1. Research the Company (and the Interviewer)

You might have heard the expression, “There are no stupid questions.” That might be true in other situations, but it’s not true during a job interview. While it’s a good idea to come to your interview with a few questions ready to ask the hiring manager, one of them shouldn’t be, “What is it that you do here, anyway?”

Take the time to research before you go to the interview. Look at the company’s website, social media presence, and recent news stories. If you have contacts at the company, ask them for their insight into the organization. Learn as much as you can about the employer’s products and services before you meet with its representatives.

Then, learn as much as you can about the interviewer. If you know their first and last name before the meeting, check out their LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts to find out what you have in common. Maybe you went to the same school or root for the same sports team. Perhaps you have shared friends or once held similar jobs at a different company. Look for points of connection that will help you foster a rapport.

Tip: Just don’t be creepy. You’re looking for ways to connect conversationally, not give the hiring manager reason to worry that you’re stalking them.

2. Do a Trial Run

Do a trial run the day before your interview, so that you’re aware of any potential traffic or transportation issues, and scope out a convenient coffee shop, in case you arrive too early to enter the building.

If you’re interviewing remotely, be sure to check all your technology ahead of time so you don’t have any last-minute glitches.

2. Be Nice and Polite

Manners matter, especially when you’re trying to make a good first impression. When it comes to job interview etiquette, the most important thing is to show that you know how to behave in a professional setting. That means dressing appropriately, bringing extra copies of your resume and references, and above all else, being on time. In the context of a job interview, “on time” means “early.”

Be nice to everyone you meet. You don’t know who has input into the hiring decision, so it’s important to be polite to everyone you meet. That’s especially the case if your interview is delayed or postponed. It will show that you’ve got the flexibility to handle it when things aren’t going as planned.

4. Listen Carefully

When you go on job interviews, do you listen to what the hiring manager has to say, or do you wait for your turn to speak? If you’re in the latter group, don’t be too hard on yourself. Job interviews are high-pressure situations. It’s understandable if you’re feeling nervous and eager to talk about your skills.

But listening is an important part of a job interview. Active listening techniques can help you draw out information, instead of just passively receiving what the interviewer is telling you. Active listening is also a soft skill that’s highly valued by employers—it shows that you’re a team player who communicates well with co-workers.

What does active listening entail? These techniques include restating information to show that you understand, using affirmations like “I see” and “I understand”—and most importantly, never interrupting.

5. Be Aware of Body Language

Nonverbal communication conveys messages to your interviewer just as well as anything you say out loud. To send the right messages, make sure your body language backs up what you intend to say. That means not slouching, fidgeting, or staring, but making appropriate eye contact, smiling at the right times, and introducing yourself with a firm handshake.

Not sure if your body language is on point? Do a practice interview and record it using your phone or a video camera. Most people have habits that they’re unaware of having. You might be surprised at what you see.

6. Turn the Interview into a Conversation

Finally, above all else, remember that you’re there to have a conversation, not to deliver a monologue or grill the interviewer. To get the hiring manager on your side, let the conversation flow naturally.

Bring your questions, but be prepared to go “off-script” to follow up on interesting information as the interviewer shares it.Remember that one of your goals is to figure out if you want to work with the people you’re meeting with. You can’t do that if you’re reciting your resume or checking off items on a list.

7. Follow Up With a Thank-You Note

After the interview, take the time to follow up with a thank you. Let the interviewer know that you appreciate their time and reiterate your interest in the job. If there’s anything you wish you had said during the interview but didn’t get a chance to, this is an opportunity to mention it. You can also include a few of your top qualifications for the job to remind the interviewer that you’re an ideal candidate for the role.

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  • March 15, 2023