Interviews, like first dates, can be daunting whether you have a fear of awkward silences, lack of chemistry or have a strong desire to rush to the toilets to make a steadfast exit. The feeling of having your first rendezvous can bring butterflies to your stomach and the notion of rejection can become unbearable. Here are a few tips to sealing the deal.
The first call
We have all been there, patiently waiting by the phone, wondering when the interviewer will arrange an interview date, they have already made assurances that they will call you at a specified time, then the phone rings and your heart starts to race! At this moment it is really important to calm your nerves and remind yourself that they called because they are interested in you, there is something about your profile that has intrigued the interviewer into believing that there is a potential ‘match’ – this is your chance to showcase your talents.
The phone call provides an opportunity for you to set the tone for the first date of your interview. It is therefore important to show enthusiasm and interest during the phone call, whilst also providing a platform to engage the potential employer.
This is the moment that you have been waiting for, you have told your friends about the potential new ‘relationship’, how good you would be together and what the future may hold if all goes well – now is the time to set an impression.
Dressing up for the occasion
When looking back on previous dates and reviewing the attire of what your date has worn, retrace your thoughts and first impressions, did they dress smart or scruffy? These are the same thoughts which goes through the mind of potential employers when you first meet up for the interview.
You can never go wrong by dressing smart, even if there is a touch of ambiguity on whether the interview attire is smart or casual. You would not feel out of place if your date was dressed casually and you dressed smart but if the reverse was to take place it puts you in an awkward predicament of being underdressed.
Arriving on time to your interview, like a first date is really important, it sets the tone on how serious you are taking this new chapter and lets the interviewer know that you are good with your time management. Arriving late does not set a good impression and already puts you on the back foot, it is always recommended to arrive early rather than on time. There can of course be mitigating circumstances which can cause a delay to arriving on time, if this arises always contact the employee as soon as possible.
Sealing the deal
Chemistry is one of the most important ingredients to any date, the same concept applies to an interview. The term ‘interview’ is sometimes used in the most literal sense, where we can sometimes get placed into the much maligned interrogation session rather than a conversation.
It is really important to get out of the interrogation ‘zone’ and become something more than a number (similar to a speed date!). To counter this dreaded interview method will require you to conduct some research on the company, a good date always flows well if you have shown interest on what they are all about.
There are so many platforms today to research a company, whether it is LinkedIn, the companies’ official website or other third party links. The information gathered through your research can be used to showcase how much you know about the company and enables you to draw parallels on work that you have previously done which is similar, this ensures that the interview becomes a conversation rather than an interrogation.
Body language is something which also engages the interviewer, you are subconsciously providing a presentation of yourself; even before words have been shared you are already being analysed. Whether it is your posture when seated in the interview room or lack of eye contact throughout; both are features to body language and are also traits of non-verbal communication. It is really important that your verbal and non-verbal communication fits the bill, showing confidence during the first interview will require both methods of communication to be seamless.
An interview is a lot like a first date, the interviewer is assessing how well you would be together, how well you would fit in with others in the team and whether there is a future together for a potential relationship. Through confidence, charm and genuine interest you will have little difficulty in sealing the deal.