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Interview Habits That Recruiters Love

The more job interviews you go on, the more successful you’ll be at the process. If you’re a frequent interviewer, you’ve probably already discovered this.

And you are probably also learning that most interview skills can be applied across the board – whether you’re interviewing for a job as a scientist, an engineer or a trolley conductor.

In any and all interviews, you will need to be possessed of the following characteristics.  You will need to be:

  • Well prepared;
  • Polite and respectful;
  • Attired attractively;
  • Alert – quick on your feet; and
  • To exude a positive demeanor.

If we break those qualities down a bit, it becomes apparent that there are quite a few layers to each trait.

For instance, to be well prepared, you not only have to have an up-do-the-minute CV or resume, you will also have to have researched the company—the corporate mission; its achievements, and the basics of when the company has been in the news, lately. This is as important as having rehearsed answers to possible questions.

Now, let’s hop on to being polite and respectful.  It’s imperative that you pull out all the stops to treat your interviewer with the utmost consideration.

Don’t interrupt.  Listen attentively.  Smile to put the interviewer at ease (yes, interviewers get frazzled, too).

Keep your answers short and to-the-point, so as not to put too much information at once on the table.  Elaborate only when asked to.

When your interviewer gets up, do likewise and take his or her outstretched hand. No matter how the interview went, be warm and solicitous when departing.  Always leave a good impression.

When we’re talking about being attractively attired, we would like you to remember to arrive freshly groomed, too.  If you bike to an interview, or, on a hot day, arrive a bit sweaty, visit the restroom first.  Carry a little baking soda with you.

Wash yourself discretely and apply the baking soda under your armpits.

You won’t have to worry about being physically offensive, and it’ll help you put your best foot forward.  There’s nothing like entering the interview room (and the process) fully confident in every sense of the word.

Also, don’t wear flashy clothes, and certainly keep to tasteful attire.  Err on the side of conservatism. Trendy is not “in” on an interview.

Stay as alert as you possibly can.  A bit of deep breathing as you enter the interview building might help.  While in the waiting room, inhale and exhale a few times.

Clear your head of any unnecessary trivia and stay sharp. Carry a notepad and scribble notes as they occur to you; questions you might want the interviewer to address, for instance, if you are offered a job.

Always turn anecdotes and answers around to a purely positive response.  Be a person who resolves issues and suggests solutions.  Paint a rosy picture of past disappointments – yes, even so-called failures have a plus side.

Have a few examples of how you were able to turn a negative situation into a positive one; this is a topic that is very often broached on interviews.

There are a few other habits that will put the polish on the apple for you; in all of these cases, your interviewer WILL notice and WILL be pleased.

In essence, don’t be hesitant to seek to win your recruiter’s approval. Flattery will get you everywhere!  And, yes, it is palatable.  You are not groveling, so replace that mental picture with an image of how easy you are to get along with, and concentrate on seeing all the wonderful attributes of the person sitting across the interview room from you.  After all, they have done something right to earn this position!

Remember that you are in no way siphoning off points in re: your overall professional performance if you are kind, thoughtful and appreciative.  For instance, are there a lot of people waiting outside?  Perhaps there is a line of interviewees that literally extends to the outside; i.e., the lobby or waiting room is too small and applicants need to step outside to move around a bit.

While you and the interviewer are talking, you may be struck by how non-flustered she or he appears.  Their expression is cool and calm; she or he has got everything under control.  You can spot no anxious look and the tone doesn’t belie that the interviewer’s mind is REALLY on whether or not they’ll finish conducting all the interviews before lunchtime.

Well, in that case, it wouldn’t hurt at all to mention how impressed you are by his or her cool demeanor.  First, your comment will be remembered; your interviewer will be able to place the face with the words.  Second, he or she will be apt to relax a tad more, which will lead to a more pleasant experience for both of you.

What about physical habits?  Here are a few that interviewers love:

You have a good presence, and control your body “tics”, as well as respect your recruiter’s boundaries. Let’s give several examples:  you sit, rather than slouch; you don’t lean in too closely; you are not constantly licking your lips or saying “um” or staring blankly at a spot behind your interviewer’s head; you’re not gazing all around the office when she or he is talking to you.

This is a biggie: you don’t roll your eyes in your head.

It lends credence to the idea that you might tend towards an overly sarcastic side, and, too, that you may be a person who spends time criticizing things, actions and people.

Imagine that you’ve got a camera – a real, live TV camera – focused on you the entire time.  Tell yourself that you cannot roll your eyes; pull at your hair or scratch yourself too many times.   In essence, you DO have a big camera focused on you:  your would-be employer.

Interviewers also like it when the interviewee turns the tables slightly and asks THEM questions.  It shows they have an in-depth understanding of the company.  It also demonstrates that the person being interviewed gets the big picture.

For instance, let it come out in the interview that, when thinking of where you would like to be a year from now, you are considering the role that the company will play in your immediate future.

Finally, make it known to your interviewer that, in the right environment — in a situation where you feel motivated and where you absolutely fit in — you adapt extremely well. Not only will your flexibility become evident, but you will most likely excel.

This will be music to their ears.

Most interviewers know that, in life as in business, it’s not the experience or the skill or even the intellect so much as it is what you choose to do with it.   Flexibility and having an open mind go hand in hand towards making the best choices in your career.

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