In recent years, job seekers have noticed a shift in companies’ hiring tactics. There are more rounds of interviews than ever, complete with personality tests and technical tests and face-to-face presentations. The general consensus is that the more well-rounded the job interview process is, the more well-rounded the candidate who gets hired will be.
This new style of interview has also been very beneficial because it levels the playing field for those who have a teachable attitude yet lack the experience another candidate has. Now, the person with the longest resume isn’t the guaranteed winner, because companies are considering how candidates fit with their culture.
While this has been good in many ways, it’s also led to a new set of problems. Many job candidates now rely too much on their personalities. They downplay their professional skills in an effort to charm hiring managers. But the truth is that no matter how witty or charismatic you are, you won’t get hired if you don’t demonstrate the ability to be a reliable worker.
So how do you put your best foot forward? Acting professional during the interview is a great start, but in reality, the interview starts before you ever step foot into that room and doesn’t end until long after you’ve left. You need to know how to prepare before, how to behave during, and how to follow up after your interview.
This piece from Company Folders will walk you through 21 steps you can take to improve your chances in a job interview. Some tips are oldies but goodies, like “dress professionally” and “speak clearly” and “shake hands firmly.”
But there may be some others you haven’t thought of yet. Take trick questions for instance—the reason they’re “tricky” is because they’re designed to see how you react under pressure. Rather than tripping over yourself and getting tongue-tied in your rush to answer, this infographic advises you to slow down and take your time. You can even tell the hiring manager you’d like a minute to think, so they aren’t sitting in awkward silence while you gather your thoughts.
Another great tidbit is to allow for traffic or weird parking situations. Unless you’re interviewing right next door to your old office, you’re probably going to be traversing some new streets that have different traffic patterns. You can even consider cruising the area a day or two in advance. Find out if there’s any construction, and figure out whether the company lot is accessible or whether you have to park in a nearby structure.
These may not be things you think of when you think about an upcoming job interview, but they should definitely become part of your interview strategy. Read the full infographic to learn more great ways to prepare and present your best self at your next interview.