In How to Ace Your Employment Interview Part 1, Suzette Smith, The InnerView Coach, shared insights into the hiring process from the perspective of a Human Resources Director. In part 2, we’ll delve into why confidence and other traits are just as important in the interview process.
What is Being Assessed in the Interview
When you first enter into a room with the interviewer, they will be assessing your confidence and poise throughout the time you spend with them. Are you at ease or are you fidgeting and distracted? When uncomfortable questions are asked, how do you respond? Are you able to communicate your skills and abilities in a sound and logical way? Are you ready with at least five questions with potential follow on questions and finally, a closing question?
According to Suzette, there are 36 signs of self-confidence that she looks for when interviewing people. How many actions can you relate to?
- I can easily name my personal and professional strengths
- I like being me
- I surround myself with high-quality people
- I can laugh at myself
- I am a positive person
- I am resilient in the face of challenges
- I don’t worry what others think of me
- I look in the mirror and like what I see
- I am good company to be around
- I am not afraid to make mistakes
- I don’t doubt my own ability
- I know what I want in life and am moving towards it
- I am in control of my life
- I know my weaknesses and I am working to minimize them
- I’ve succeeded in the past and I will succeed in the future
- I am always thinking of ways to be more successful
- I actively contribute to the successes of others
- I am a confident communicator
- I don’t mind speaking in front of groups
- I can say “no” without feeling guilt or fear
- I don’t get nervous when meeting strangers
- I can keep a conversation going
- I am not afraid to complain if I get poor service
- I am not shy about contributing my ideas at meetings
- I have no problem asking for what I want
- I am interested in what others have to say
- I can tell jokes with ease
- I enjoy having fun and relaxing
- I take pleasure in my achievements
- I never think that when I experience pleasure it is underserved
- I don’t have to work hard at having fun
- When I succeed I never respond by feeling defensive or anxious
- If others don’t like me having fun, that’s tough
- I smile a lot
- I don’t doubt my ability to do a/the job
- I speak with ease to people in positions of power
Other Important Interview Characteristics
As with many jobs, attention to detail is an important skill set. The interviewer is looking to see if you are listening carefully to the question and answering it. When you provide an explanation, is your answer detailed and accurate?
Have you done your research – what is your knowledge of the company? Recent announcements, financial statements and publications provide rich source materials for developing killer questions. Dig and find out information about their:
- Annual sales
- Leadership team
- Products and services
- Recent news
When you impress the first interviewer, you are more likely to impress the other people you will be talking to. Your first impression sets the pattern for your personal effectiveness in the organization.
Employers want employees who have maturity in their experience for the job and how they act. Perseverance is a positive trait.
Your overall impression is critical – do you they see you as a team player? Do you have the soft skills the employer is looking for? Suzette shared her list of soft skills she looks for in an interview, they include:
- Social Skills
- Problem Solving
- Sense of Urgency
Savvy interviewers will ask you questions that show the skills they are believe are important to their organization. They may even rate you on them – Suzette uses a four point scale to rate candidates on how well they show these skills through their answers. The scale is:
Outstanding = 3
Good = 2
Adequate = 1
Poor = 0
She uses this scale because after interviewing dozens of candidates, it gives her a way to sort through those that are the top contenders for the position.
Closing the Interview
As yourself this question: Do I really want this job? If you do, then you can ask for the job at the close of the interview. However, ask for the job with finesse. How do you do that?
Let the interviewer know you are excited about the job and you believe you would make a great asset to the team. Do not say: I want this job, hire me. Being direct puts the interviewer on the spot to make a decision they are probably not ready to make.
Do ask: When will you make a decision? Try to get a date from them so that you know when to follow-up with them. Inquire how you can best follow-up – by phone or email.
Immediately after the interview, send them a handwritten note thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in the position.
One week later, follow-up on the position and continue to follow-up every week by either speaking to someone one leaving a voice mail.
Follow Suzette’s tips on how to Ace Your Employment Interview and you will be on your way to working with a new employer.