When pulling back the curtain on the interview process, you learn that there’s a lot you were never told about. Meeting the requirements listed on a job description is only one small part of the hiring process. There are easy-to-implement actions you may be unaware of that will make you stand out and win the job offer.
Charisma, Charm And The Likability Factor
Put yourself in the place of the interviewer or hiring manager. Would you prefer to hire someone who possesses all the right skills, but comes across as arrogant and hard to work with, or would you want a person who you resonate with and visualize having a great relationship; although, they’ll need some training and upskilling?
Most people would likely go for the person that they bond with. You can always learn new skills; however, it's hard to change a person's personality that’s been in the workforce for a couple of decades.
Defer to the interviewer the days and times of the meeting. You want to demonstrate—right from the start—that you are considerate. If the company asks for your availability, do not select early Monday mornings or late times on Friday, especially in the summertime. This tone-deaf approach will create tension with the interviewer. They want to meet with you, but are not too happy about the hours you selected. It’s off-putting and makes for a bad first impression.
While it may be a burden to meet their timeline, it's essential to show that you are a team player and want to make things easier for your new boss. You can tell the human resources person or hiring manager, “The time you offered conflicts with another meeting I have. Nevertheless, I am really excited about the role, company and opportunity. I’ll be glad to check to see how I could reschedule my appointment and circle right back to you and confirm the date.” By doing this, the supervisor will appreciate that you are highly motivated for the role and willing to take action to make this work.
When human resources ask how much you are looking for, don’t say the number you want. Add a 10 to 20% premium to the salary you desire. When you provide a number, the HR person automatically thinks that you are shooting too high and will scale back the offer.
For instance, if you desire a $100k salary and say that’s what you want, they’ll likely offer around $90k to $95k. Their thought is that since you likely overshot your ask, they’ll offer a lower salary and call your bluff.
If you replied by asking for a base salary of $120k, they would offer about $110k, which would be greater than what you would have settled for. Execute the same strategy for stock options, vacation time and your corporate title. Ask for more, so that you have room to negotiate.
Check Into Your New Boss
Before you accept a job, conduct due diligence on the new boss, so that you won't be blindsided. You don’t want to resign, only to later find out that you made a major mistake once you start the new job. It is important to find a person who works at the company to gain insider information. If you don’t know anyone at the organization, tap into your network for assistance. If you have a large enough base, there will be a person who knows someone at your target company. Ask your recruiter what they know about the hiring manager. Google the person to see what comes up.
The company could be amazing and the job wonderful, but your prospective boss may be a deal killer. Some managers are great mentors and will champion your career. They’ll be empathetic and help you succeed and grow.
Sadly, there are a lot of bad bosses. They only care about themselves. The manager will take all the credit for your work. The person may disparage you in front of others. Some leaders lack clout. These professionals may not have the ear or respect of senior leadership. In this scenario, you’ll be lumped in with your manager. The chances of growing and developing will be minute.
Master The Art Of Small Talk
Both the interviewer and interviewee are nervous. The hiring process is not a natural thing to do. In a video or in-person meeting, the interviewer fires off questions and you need to answer them on the fly intelligently. It could be a cold and clinical affair. The trick is to lighten up the mood. This could be done by effectively engaging in small talk.
Here’s an example of this type of banter. First, before the interview, check out the hiring manager’s social media footprint. Find some common ground. It could be that you both attended the same university, live in a nearby neighborhood or share an enthusiasm for a certain sports team.
Armed with the knowledge that the interviewer is a Mets fan, you can break the ice by saying, “I don’t know if you are interested in sports, but did you see the Mets last night? It was an amazing game!” Since you already know that they’re an avid fan, it’s a great way to immediately forge a common connection. The same holds true for building a bond through your mutual interests in TikTok, music, movies, television shows, Netflix series and other events.
Additionally, before the interview commences, ask the interviewer some questions. It could be, “What made you decide to select my rèsumè? Why did you want to meet with me?” This will nudge the interviewer to articulate the good things they saw on your rèsumè. It starts off the interview with a positive first step.
It sounds banal, but chatting about the weather, the commute into the city or other noncontroversial matters that we all talk about takes away some of the stress on both sides of the video or table. The mission is to transform the interview from a stuffy, serious affair to a more relaxed and friendly conversation.