Job searching comes with a lot of anxiety. Once you get a call or an email saying you have been shortlisted for the next level of a hiring process, it is time to step-up and put on your A-game. Since your CV/resume has given you an opportunity to meet your potential employer, the next natural thing you must do is prepare and, prepare well.
Here are tips you can use to impress your potential employer.
1. Motivation for the job
The first thing a hiring panel will be looking for is to see if have fire in your belly. You may wonder what “fire” means. This is the energy and commitment a candidate shows during an interview. Your “fire” will show if you really want the job or you are just going through the interview motions. Show excitement, enthusiasm and zeal for the job. Prove that you can go the extra mile to perform the job.
2. Power up your confidence
Confidence will certainly get you noticed. High self-esteem is a critical aspect of securing a job because the workplace is a challenging environment. For you to solve problems, you need a lot of confidence and a strong belief in your capacities and capabilities. Be sure of your mastery of the job. Employers know confident people require minimum supervision. However, remember that arrogance is not the same as confidence.
3. Polish up your communication skills
Excellent communication skills is a very important trait. Interviewers score candidates highly for clarity in oral and written communication, listening skills, accuracy, non-verbal, presentation skills, conciseness, brevity, attention to details and assertiveness. Avoid bad grammar and a lot of jargon. Don’t talk too much and don’t interrupt the interviewer. Try and connect with the interview panel by making eye contact. That is why it is important to have public speaking skills. It pays to invest in public speaking courses and reading books about public speaking. It will definitely put you ahead of the pack.
4. Have a leadership mindset
An applicant who exhibits leadership skills will always have an advantage over candidates who don’t. Leadership is not a position but a mind-set. Can you solve organizational problems? What is your leadership style? Can you lead a team? Are you creative? Can you motivate a team? What about conflict resolution? Leaders spend a lot of their time communicating. So how are your oral and written communication abilities? Do you have any strengths that the employer can use?
5. Emotional intelligence (EQ)
EQ is the ability to be aware about self and others. Potential employers want to know if you can relate with your emotions and those of others. Do you know yourself well? Do you have great interpersonal skills? Can you put yourself in other teammate’s shoes? Do you honestly know your weakness or strengths and have done something about them? Never tell interviewers you have no weaknesses. EQ includes motivation, self-regulation, social skills, self-awareness and empathy.
6. Personality trait
You can be a genius or the most brilliant person in the list of short-listed candidates and still not get the job. Why? Because of your personality. How you present yourself during an interview says a lot about your feelings, opinions and thought processes. Recruiters look for personality traits that match the company culture. Personality will help you connect and influence other employees. Check your body language, ensure it matches what you say, feel and believe – be real. You can give the correct answers but your body language can betray you.
7. Flexible and adaptable
There are limitless changes and disruptions due to technology, law, competition, philosophies, products, services, failure, cost-cutting, management change, mergers and acquisitions. Change is the most permanent thing in life. Employers will embrace change agents and change drivers. If you are rigid, ensure you learn how to cope with unexpected and unanticipated situations or occurrences. Organizations want to attract and retain employees who can adjust and adapt to change quickly.
8. Be optimistic and positive
This does not mean you deny the realities of life. It means you are not easily discouraged as you will find ways to solve a problem. You should also be resilient. Have positive psychology so as to catch the attention of the interview panel. Employers like people with the glass is half full attitude. Hope gives confidence in the face of odds and adversities. Teach yourself to always see the positive side of things.
9. Research about the company’s culture
Companies have their core beliefs and a special way of doing things. Ensure you research about the organization you wish to work for. Check their website, social media accounts and ask people who have worked for the company. Make sure you know about their history, products, services, mission, core values, vision and goals.
10. Play up your achievements
Everyone has a story. Keep your list of achievements and high points in life. Clearly state the situation, task, achievement and results or output of some of your best examples of your work situations or experience. Most CVs lack this section. People often list their responsibilities and duties but never clearly state what they achieved in that position.
Give examples like “I reduced recruitment expenses and yet hired top performers”, “I increased the membership of the club, and I introduced a new system that increased productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.” Know your strengths and exploit them well. This is where one becomes an asset. Remember it is not “We achieved” it is “I achieved”.