When you have been invited to an interview, it already means that the company feels you are qualified for the position. The purpose of the interview has less to do with the content of the resume than the character of the applicant. Hiring managers use the interview to learn more about the person behind the resume. At this point, the resume has done its job. It’s time for you to win the job! You need to learn the best interview hacks that will give you a decided edge over everyone else.
Here are 10 interview hacks every job seeker should know:
In This Post:
- 1. Take Advantage of Technology
- 2. Research the Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions
- 3. Document Your Achievements
- 4. Get the Blood Flowing
- 5. Eat a High Protein Breakfast
- 6. Arrive 15 Minutes Before the Interview
- 7. Remain Professional Even While Waiting
- 8. Engage the Interviewer
- 9. Reaffirm Your Commitment
- 10. Send a Thank You Card
1. Take Advantage of Technology
Research does not end with the resume. When you are invited for the interview, you should take your research up another notch by uncovering more in- depth information about the company.
A smart and efficient way to do this is to take advantage of technology. Here are 4 websites and online tools that you can use to fast track the learning process:
- Google Alerts – All it takes is a few seconds of your time to sign up to Google Alerts and receive real time news and tidbits about the company you are applying for.
- ClearBit Connect – If you want to know more about the Hiring Manager, the best place to look is social media.ClearBit Connect allows you to see all of the social media accounts of the Hiring Manager through Gmail.You can see if there are common points of interest you can bring up during the interview.
- Mattermark – Hiring Managers like proactive problem solvers. If the Hiring Manager asks you how you can contribute, discuss a specific problem the problem may have and offer solutions.Mattermark is a service that gives you current and relevant statistics on the company. These include revenue growth, website unique visitors and employee turnover.
- GlassDoor – If you want to know what happens in an interview, GlassDoor will provide you insights from people who have been there. You can get valuable information on the Hiring Manager, company culture and the type of questions to expect.
2. Research the Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions
Another valuable area you should conduct research on is finding out the most frequently asked interview questions.
Hiring Managers have their own list of questions to ask the applicant. Many of these questions are generic; they are a constant feature in every interview.
But often a Hiring Manager will throw in a few tricky questions to get you off course. They already know applicants are doing extensive research on the interview questions.
Familiarize yourself with the most frequently asked job interview questions, including the trickier ones and their best answers.
3. Document Your Achievements
Some may say it’s “cheating” but call it what it is: Being Prepared. You know “The Question” is going to be asked:
“What accomplishment at work are you most proud of?”
Instead of scrambling to articulate the accomplishment, why not present a prepared, one-page document on the experience complete with facts, figures, dates and personalities?
You can bring it out to show the Hiring Manager, but take the time to discuss it in detail.
The “cheat sheet” will be there just for reference.
It may seem unconventional but then again that’s the entire point. You have to show the Hiring Manager that you are unlike any other applicant. You are creative, innovative, efficient and forward- thinking.
4. Get the Blood Flowing
It’s perfectly fine to be stressed out on the day of the interview. Even the most experienced job seekers still get butterflies when they realize their future will be decided over the course of an hour.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to exercise. You don’t need to do a one hour workout in the gym to settle down. A quick but intense 10 to 15 minute exercise will be enough to get the blood flowing.
If your home has stairs, sprint up at full speed then take 45 second rest periods before starting again. 10 minutes of sprinting will be enough to clear your mind.
Exercise has many benefits. Included among these benefits are greater focus, heightened mental alertness and much improved cognition.
5. Eat a High Protein Breakfast
Eating a hearty breakfast before the interview is a good idea. Food gives you all the necessary macronutrients, calories, vitamins and minerals to help you cope with the stresses of the day.
But before you eat that bagel, you should know that the ideal macronutrient to have in your body before a mental challenge is protein not the carbohydrate.
Protein regulates insulin levels which keep you more alert and focused. Protein is also harder to digest and thus, keeps you fuller longer.
Eating a carbohydrate heavy breakfast can make you sluggish because of the spikes in blood sugar levels. It also releases tryptophan, an amino acid that triggers sleep.
6. Arrive 15 Minutes Before the Interview
Not only is arriving early at an interview a sign of professionalism, it is also a smart and strategic decision.
By arriving at least 15 minutes before the interview, you can relax, review your documents, get yourself centered and composed before your name is called.
An effective technique to use before the interview is positive affirmation. It is a great way to assert yourself from a point of low self- esteem to high self confidence. And it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to do.
Simply go the rest room, look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself why you are in this position right now. Affirm your conviction in your ability to perform and that you deserve this job.
7. Remain Professional Even While Waiting
Sometimes 15 minutes can seem like an eternity while waiting for the most important interview in your life. But believe it or not, your quest for the job has already started.
In the waiting area, HR could already be observing your actions. The receptionist may appear to be involved with a multitude of tasks but one of these could be assessing how applicants are behaving before the interview.
The area could have Closed Circuit TV cameras which HR could use to monitor your pre-interview behavior.
The best thing to do is to play it safe. Review your resume, read some magazines or meditate.
Don’t call attention to yourself by socializing with the receptionist or people in the area.
8. Engage the Interviewer
The first time you meet the Hiring Manager, break the ice with a friendly smile and a firm handshake.
You should expect the Hiring Manager to exchange a few pleasantries with you to keep you at ease. Feel free to engage and ask questions that you may have in mind.
In an interview, it’s not just the Hiring Manager asking questions. You should be ready with your own set of questions to ask the Hiring Manager. This shows your sincere interest in the job, your level of preparation and highlights your ability to communicate with others.
9. Reaffirm Your Commitment
After the interview is over, take the time to express your appreciation to the Hiring Manager and re-affirm your commitment to the company should they hire you.
A simple statement such as:
“Thank you for considering me for the position. I hope that I was able to effectively state my case that I am the best person for the job. I would just like to say that if hired, you will get only my best effort every time I set foot in the office.”
It’s a good way to leave a lasting impression to the Hiring Manager that you are really desirous of landing this job.
10. Send a Thank You Card
Not too many applicants would do this simply because they think it is inappropriate. And that is exactly why you should send a “Thank You Card” to the Hiring Manager; no one else will!
The Thank You card will set you apart from the other applicants. Will it influence the decision of the Hiring Manager? Highly unlikely but at the very least, you would have created a good lasting impression.
In case you won’t get hired this time around, trust that the Hiring Manager would never forget you for the next job opening!
These interview hacks may seem unconventional but then what would you call using tea bags to deodorize your shoe?
The genius behind these interview hacks is that it separates those who really want the job from those who are only looking for a paycheck. If you want to impress the Hiring Manager you must differentiate yourself and stand out from the rest of the applicants.