It’s time for change. Or an upgrade. Whichever way you approach your career, it’s going to involve interviews — a lot of them!
At the moment, those will probably be screen-to-screen video chats. By “chats” we mean an uncomfortably deep psychological survey of your education, skills, personality, career, and future. In a short space of time. By someone who has countless more candidates to get through.
Stressed? Don’t be! Beyond power dressing and knowing your work history, skills, and achievements, (and the prospective company’s as well!) there are a host of tricks that can help you climb the ladder.
We’ve put together a cheat sheet to help you win at your next job interview.
Clever mental tricks for your next interview
1. Give them what they want
First, what are they looking for?
Every recruiter or potential boss will be asking themselves some questions throughout the interview. It’s your job to answer them along the way, even if they don’t ask. Classy Career Girl lists them:
2. Mirror your interviewer
Mimic their words and motions but remember that mirroring doesn’t mean parroting. As Classy Career Girl advises, “It’s a subtle reflection. If you’re too much of a chameleon, copying every nuance, you’ll alienate the recruiter.”
3. Show what you know
If you’ve done your homework, you’ll be up to date on the company’s recent news, and if you know how to use social media, you’ll have identified and reached out to existing and former employees to get the low-down on company culture, vision, and more. Bring this in-depth knowledge into your interview to show how passionate you are about being part of their professional family.
4. Match answers to your interviewer’s age and role
A 33-year-old Millennial department manager is going to be interested in different qualities and skills than a Baby Boomer. That’s because they have different mandates when it comes to hiring and different cultural languages depending on their generation.
Give some thought to their role and responsibility as well as yours. How might you best serve the company, its business goals and the person interviewing you? Point this out clearly in a language they understand.
The Ladders breaks each generation down and suggests suitable focuses for each:
Don’t forget Generation Z – professionals in their early twenties. It’s entirely possible to have a manager younger than you if you’re interviewing in certain sectors, such as start-ups or technology. If you’re interviewing with a Gen Z’er, make sure to show visuals, videos if possible, and keep it short and to the point.
5. Practise beforehand
This is especially useful for Zoom interviews, where many of the visual, audio, and psychological cues we’re used to picking up on in person may be missing. Here are some top tips:
What to do when it doesn’t work out
You can do everything right and still not get the job. Maybe another candidate beat you out by a hair, or the company decided to rethink the skills and experience needed for the job. If you’ve invested your time heavily in multiple time-consuming interviews or skills assessment tests the bad news can feel even worse.
Here’s how to pick yourself up again when it doesn’t work out.
Feeling prepared and ready? Great. Now go get that job!