Every hiring manager has a different set of go-to interview questions. While there's not always one right way to answer an interview question, some approaches are better than others.
Be honest and genuine. Listen, show enthusiasm and be respectful.
An employment interview is stressful. You need to say the right things to convince the hiring manager you're the perfect person for the job. But you also need to be sure your nervousness doesn't get the best of you and cause you to say something you'll regret. Saying the wrong thing can cost you the opportunity, no matter how skilled or experienced you are.
After a few well-thought-out questions and answers with your interviewer, it's almost over, but don't lose your cool just yet. Make sure your goodbye handshake is just as confident now as it was going in.
A thank-you note allows you to accomplish three objectives: Express your appreciation for the opportunity; reinforce your interest in the job; and restate the value you can bring to the organization. And, often, composing a thank-you note takes less time than you may think since this type of message should be only a few paragraphs in length.
From the beginning, you must present yourself as polished, considerate and professional. That means greeting the hiring manager with, "Hi, Joanna, this is John Douglas. It's a pleasure to speak with you" as opposed to the kind of casual greeting you reserve for close friends.
During the interview, you'll need to pick up on not just the content of the hiring manager's questions but also the tone. Don't be so fixated on your talking points that you miss these cues.
If the interviewer seems relaxed and open, you can take more time answering the questions. If his/ her tone is matter-of-fact and abrupt, focus on getting your points across quickly and economically.
In either case, make sure you're listening, not just waiting for your next turn to speak. Asking a salient question in response to something the interviewer has mentioned can demonstrate your ability to think and talk on your feet.
The interviewer may establish the tone and structure of the discussion, but it's your responsibility to tell your story -- however briefly -- within those confines. Make sure your answers don't stray too far from how your skills and experience meet the employer's needs.
However, no matter where you conduct an interview, don't let your surroundings interfere with maintaining a professional atmosphere. For instance, if you're working from home, dress as you would if you were conducting a formal, face-to-face interview with a job seeker -- after all, that's what you're doing, albeit virtually.
Also, avoid leaning into the webcam; doing so can create visual distortion. However, look directly into the webcam and not at the computer screen when speaking. In a face-to-face interview, maintaining eye contact is essential to making a positive connection with a potential hire, and it's no different in a video interview.
Videoconferencing is a convenient but imperfect technology. Its effectiveness depends on the speed of your Internet connection and how much network traffic is being carried on both your company's and the job seeker's systems at the time.
If you've never conducted an interview via videoconference, don't risk making a poor impression by jumping into the process unprepared. Practicing with a colleague can help you to build confidence and polish your skills before your debut. And always be prepared to rise above technical problems: Keep the managers contact information handy just in case you have to grab the phone to complete the conversation.
At the end of the call, thank the hiring manager for his/her time. If he/she hasn't mentioned the possibility of an in-person interview, ask politely about the next step.
Like it or not, people make judgments on appearances and timing, so it's important to arrive on time at the interview looking like a seasoned professional. But if you dress too formally, you'll look stuffy, and if you dress too casually, the interviewer may think you're not serious about the job.
Six tips to an effective meet ‘n greet
- Stand up
- Step or lean forward
- Make eye contact
- Have a pleasant or animated face
- Shake hands
- Greet the other person and repeat his or her name
When you greet your interviewer, smile a real smile that engages your eyes, and offer a firm handshake. Say something like, "I'm pleased to meet you" to provide a positive anchor.
- Show your enthusiasm by keeping an interested expression. Nod and make positive gestures in moderation to avoid looking like a bobblehead.
- Establish a comfortable amount of personal space between you and the interviewer. Invading personal space (anything more than 20 inches) could make the interviewer feel uncomfortable and take the focus away from your conversation.
- Limit your application of colognes and perfumes. Invading aromas can arouse allergies. Being the candidate that gave the interviewer a headache isn't going to do anything in your favor.
- If you have more than one person interviewing you at once, make sure you briefly address both people with your gaze (without looking like a tennis spectator) and return your attention to the person who has asked you a question.
- Interruptions can happen. If they do, refrain from staring at your interviewer while they address their immediate business and motion your willingness to leave if they need privacy.
Videoconferencing services such as Skype allow you to schedule a meeting from almost anywhere -- your home computer, cubicle, smartphone or tablet computer.