In my earlier post, I spoke of three behaviours job applicants should not put on when they attend an interview. In this post, I want to suggest three behaviours you can do during an interview, to put you in a more favourable light with your prospective employers.
These behaviours can show attributes that will shine only when you have the chance to interact with others. The purpose of an interview is for this purpose – to show your capabilities. True, your resume would have showcased your abilities in getting outcomes. However, employers will want to know if you are as good as what you make yourself to be. Particularly if they want to assess your cognitive and analytical abilities.
Three Behaviours To Have In An Interview
1. Show enthusiasm and interest for the job and organisation throughout the interview session. I was surprised by the body language of some candidates I interviewed for different positions, over the years. Regardless of the positions, I noticed there are generally two groups of candidates. One group exhibits interest and inquisitiveness throughout the session. They asked about the job scope, roles, who they will work with and so on. The other group gave very terse responses, and does not show much interest in wanting to know more about the organisation.
If you encounter both types of candidates, who will leave a deeper impression? Who will you consider? For me, the candidates who showed interest in the organisation during the interview will be the ones I will consider first. At least I know they will be committed to working in the place and role. It is also likely they will try to fit into the work culture and ethos too.
Sure, some may be too nervous to have that curiosity at the interview. But there is one segment where you can demonstrate your interest – that final question from the panel when they asked “do you have any questions for us?” That is your moment that no one can take away from you. You can prepare for it beforehand by researching on the organisation and job. This is within your control.
2. If you are unsure or nervous, ask clarifying questions to buy yourself some time. Everyone knows going for interviews can be nerve-wracking. The panel is willing to give you some slack, but they still have a job to do. The best you can do is to buy some time to answer cogently, if you need. So ask questions to show you got what they want to know.
One thing to note though: don’t ask questions that make yourself sound silly. I had a candidate who asked which job experience should she talk about when I asked what talents can she bring to this job she is applying for. It shows you are not prepared and you have not thought much about the job you are applying.
On the other hand, a candidate once asked if she should focus more on her immediate past experience or another job experience that has more relevance to the position she applied. That shows two things to me. She does not want to waste our time giving irrelevant information. Second, she knows how to customise her pitch accordingly.
3. Ask yourself what the interviewers want to know from their questions. Do yourself a favour. Don’t give short answers to the questions raised. Being too direct does you no good. In fact, that projects you to lack depth in your thinking. Think about the intent of the questions you are asked, before replying them.
Interviewers want to suss out certain attributes in these conversations that they don’t see from your resume, or which they want to verify. Being factual in your responses may not yield enough for interviewers to deduce. Going into a fair level of details in your stories may help interviewers pick out some of your qualities too.
Yet don’t overdo it. I had to cut short a response from someone who went into one claim after another. In another, I had to interject to get the candidate to get to the point. So watch the body language of the interviewers for cues too. Being long-winded without a main point can lead to the opposite effect.
An impactful resume only opens the door to the job. Knowing how to respond and how to behave in an interview will raise the chances of securing a job. So do practise for the interview you will be going for. Don’t assume you will secure the job because you have reached the open door.
What is one advice you will give to job seekers when preparing for an interview? What would you do differently if you want to leave a deeper impression with the interviewers?