Forbes magazine states that the average job ad receives at least 118 applicants, but only 28 percent are offered an interview that lasts around 40 minutes long. It may take up to two weeks to hear from back from the hiring manager. Job hunters who are lucky enough to be invited to an interview must make a perfect impression while properly presenting their transferable skills and knowledge.
The first impression
There is never an excuse for arriving late to an interview. However, there is also no excuse for arriving 20 to 30 minutes early, which may pressure the hiring manager to adjust their current focus and workload. Arrive about 15 minutes before the scheduled interview in order to complete additional paperwork.
Be aware that you may be silently monitored by the receptionist and nearby staff who may share their unfavorable opinions about any bad behavior with the hiring manager. You can make the strongest impression by mirroring the interviewer. If they are quiet and formal, imitate their demeanor and avoid unnecessary chatter. If they offer a bone-crushing handshake, be firm and look them in the eye.
Be ready to answer specific questions
Entrepreneur magazine states that all HR professionals will ask job candidates basic questions. The most common job interview questions involves strengths, weaknesses, motivation, future goals and problems with management. HR professionals tend to ask why job candidates have employment gaps and want to leave their current employer.
Almost all hiring managers will ask how job candidates will deal with communication mistakes, co-worker difficulties and demanding customers. Be aware that innocent questions, such as those regarding hobbies and interests, actually reveal a lot about job candidates. Those who ramble about passive activities, such as TV and reading, may not make a positive impression like those who discuss their proactive passions, such as sports, mentoring and community projects.
Prepare your own questions
The end of most job interviews conclude with the hiring manager asking if the candidate has any questions, then the candidate may jokingly ask if they got the job or just say nothing at all because they are nervous. Instead, the end of the interview is the best opportunity to transition from formal dialogue to an informal conversation.
Job hunters must conduct in-depth research into the company's leaders, history and projected future. For example, reference a LinkedIn article, social media post or a speech given by the CEO. The goal is to demonstrate that you are truly interested in joining and contributing to the company. During this casual conversation, reinforce your core competencies and how you will help the company grow.
Be aware of pre-employment tests
Pre-employment screening tests and background checks are becoming more popular because they objectively judge and rank candidates. Many corporations use screening tests that include questions related to personality and decision-making. For example, they may ask how an employee would deal with a difficult client or co-worker, but provide equally valid and appropriate multiple-choice answers.
These trick questions entirely depend on the company's culture and management style, so job hunters should arm themselves with knowledge through research. The ideal solution is to interview a friend or associate who is a past or current employee. If possible, directly call the hiring manager to ask them general questions about the company.
If you are fortunate to be invited to a second interview, be prepared to meet management or face a group panel. Some companies may provide a brief tour to see how interview finalists interact with staff and respond to the environment.