So you’ve landed an interview—now it’s time to prepare yourself to do your very best! First, you’ll want to practice answers to common interview questions and review your resume. However, you can’t discount one simple aspect of human interactions: we look more favorably upon people we like. This is also true of interviewers, and can help you improve your chances of getting hired after your interview. For this reason, it can’t hurt to arm yourself with a few tactics to help you get along famously with your interviewer. Here’s what you can do.
Ways to make your interviewer like you
To help your interview go smoothly and positively, consider the following:
- Mirror the demeanor of the interviewer. Mirroring is a behavior that allows people to connect with others through similarities in conversational style. This means you can tailor your behavior at the interview to reflect that of the interviewer. For example, if the interviewer is high-energy and gives plenty of details and explanations, structure your answers in a similar fashion. Conversely, if the interviewer is calm and serious, try to conduct yourself with a similar demeanor. Note that mirroring does not mean exact imitation, but simply following a similar pattern of behavior. Of course you still want to come across as your own unique individual.
- Be positive, but honest. The best way to present yourself is to be straightforward. Still, you should avoid being negative. Even if a past manager or job experience left you with hard feelings, highlight the positives when describing things. You should be honest, but don’t talk bad about anyone, point fingers or otherwise complain. An interview is a chance for a fresh start and it’s best to take the high road: onward and upward!
- Ask questions. After all, you’re interested in this position and enthusiastic to learn more! Don’t let your interview turn into a question-and-answer session with you in the hot seat. Allow it to function more as a conversation. This can show the interviewer that you’re engaged and paying attention, and it will help even your most practiced answers sound less rehearsed. Also, a conversational interview can help you to feel more relaxed, and this can add to your confidence—a bonus for any interview!
- You don’t want to fill your interview with empty conversation that is unrelated to the job. But it’s fine to make small talk with your interviewer with job-related chatter to help break the ice. This can help you to feel more comfortable. You might ask how long they have been with the company, what their role is, etc.
- Say thank you. At the close of your interview, be sure to show gratitude. Thank your interviewer for his or her time, and say that you’ve enjoyed the conversation and you hope to hear from them soon. Always remember to send a follow-up thank-you note or email.
Let “you” shine through
Your interview is a chance to help a potential employer get to know your personality—which is something that isn’t easily determined through a resume or cover letter. When and if it’s appropriate, feel free to smile, laugh or interject humor into your interview. This will also help the interviewer get an idea of how well you would fit with the company culture.
Looking for your next job?
Check out McGrath Systems. We’re a staffing firm that specializes in the fields of engineering, information technology, marketing, administration and human resources, with a special focus on licensed insurance agents. To learn more, contact McGrath Systems today.