On average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. Of those candidates, four to six will get called in for an in-person interview, and only one will get the job. (Glassdoor) If you’ve been called in for an interview, then you are in the top 1.6 to 2.4 percent of the candidate pool. Now it’s time to impress the hiring manager in person! We have a few suggestions on a few easy fixes that will polish up your interview skills and move you closer toward being the new hire.
1) Avoid Filler Words – We KNOW this is hard. You’re nervous. You’re excited. However, avoiding terms such as “so,”“um,” “like,” “I mean,” and “you know” could make the difference between you moving forward in the interview process. To avoid using these filler words you should practice your interview responses. We suggest doing a mock interview with a family member or friend or record you on your phone and play it back. Preparation will give you a chance to think through how you want to respond and should make you more aware of when you tend to let those filler words slip. During your actual interview, if you feel one of these filler words come on or accidentally slip up, take a deep breath and then proceed on with your response. You got this!
2) Choose the Right Adjectives to Describe Yourself – The question “What are three to five words you would use to describe yourself” will be a common interview question you will be asked to answer. Steer away from overly general words such as “skilled” or “capable” because it is likely you would not have made it to this point in the hiring process if you were not qualified. Also, avoid words that could come across as arrogant, such as “intelligent” or “charming.” These words are okay when someone else is using them to describe you, but it could send the wrong message to the hiring manager if you use them to describe yourself.
There are many resources out there with great adjective lists to use to prepare for answering this question. I encourage you to read up on these different articles and pick a few ahead of your interview that you could use. Remember to have a reason behind why you chose those words and of course stop to consider what you would think if someone was using those words to describe themselves to you.
3) Research the Company Before the Interview – This seems simple enough, but it is surprising how many people do not do this before an interview. It is important to show your potential future employer that you care about this job, and you are interested in this company. One of the best ways to do this is to hop onto a search engine and learn about the business. A couple of locations to find information is in the About Us and News sections on the company’s website and in the News section on your preferred search engine. Being prepared to discuss basic facts about the company or weave in a mention of a timely news article related to the business are small ways to show your interest and resourcefulness.
Above are just a few quick tips you can use for your next interview. Remember to be yourself and be confident! You have made it this far in the interview process which means the employer is interested; now it’s just time to prove to them in person you have what it takes to be their next great employee.