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The Five Secret Aspects of a Successful Interview

Interview TIps, Career Development, Recruiting...

Did you know that less than 10% of resumes net a personal or telephone interview?  That means that for every one-hundred resumes the average career professional sends out, less than ten invitations to interviews occur; and that statistic can be a little discouraging for job seekers.

When you are contacted for an interview, it’s important to do the advanced preparation to ensure that you make the best possible impression with the employer.   That diligence makes a big difference when it comes to candidate success rates for a simple reason; employers can tell how serious you are about joining the organization, if you arrive prepared, and informed.

At reesmarx, our recruiters place qualified candidates in exciting new career opportunities around the world.  We do not “fill positions” but rather excel at helping businesses build successful teams, which is why the recruitment process is a painstaking one.   From our combined experience in the industry, our recruiters have provided candidates with five secret aspects of delivering a successful interview.

1. Be Informed

Asking questions about the prospective role is only part of the investigative process that candidates should go through, if they are truly interested in joining the organization.   Sometimes job descriptions are quite lengthy; and candidates would be remiss to skip over any of the information provided in a detailed employment summary.

Recruiters may ask questions during an interview simply to test the diligence of the candidate.  For instance, if hours, travel or other employment details were provided in the job summary, and your interviewer asks about it, you should be prepared to answer the question (without checking the document).  If it feels like a test; it is.  Employers want people who are committed to the organization, and your knowledge about the business and the role is an indication of your commitment as a potential employee.

2. Ask Questions

Frequently during the course of an interview, candidates may feel nervous or apprehensive.  They may listen intently and answer questions asked by the recruiter carefully, but very few candidates pause in the interview (at an appropriate time) to ask key questions.   Many feel that it may reflect poorly on their skills if they interrupt the interviewer, but the truth is actually opposite to that assumption.

When a prospective candidate asks questions, including clarification on salary, hours, vacation time, benefits, corporate culture and other particulars, it demonstrates that the candidate is equally committed to finding a long-term role that fits his or her needs.  The fact that a “mutual fit” matters shows confidence, experience and a professional integrity that recruiters and employers look for.

3. A Groomed C.V.

Your curriculum vitae (C.V.) or resume is a summary not only of your job history, but of your accomplishments, the diversity of your experience, challenges and training that may be viewed as an asset to the organization.   If you feel that you are unable to create an impactful C.V., it pays to hire professional assistance to make your credentials stand out.    Remember, they are not just looking for experience, they are looking for cues about your demeanor, integrity and innovation “between the lines” of your resume.   Let your skills and your positive work history shine through with a new and updated version of your C.V.

4. Display Confidence

This can be a tall order, particularly if you are shy or introverted.  However, it is important to remember that nervousness can also be a sign of inexperience, doubt or even dishonesty in some cases.    Do the contents of your work history, demeanor and business ethics match what you have written on your resume?

Fear of the unknown is what makes most candidates perform poorly during career interviews. The best way to overcome interview jitters is to practice with a friend, or a spouse.  Download or write a number of interview questions and have someone challenge you.  With repetition, your confidence in your own ability to answer any question will increase, and nervousness will become more manageable.

5. Be Positive

Some of the questions you may be asked in an interview may pertain to previous job experience.  If you are currently employed and wish to leave to explore new career opportunities, be honest about your want and need to “try something new” to advance your position or salary.   Be positive about seeking new opportunities and your openness to try new challenges.

Never speak negatively about a former employer (even if you are asked).  Talking disrespectfully about a former employer (even if it is well deserved) reflects poorly on your work ethic, and can diminish your chances of landing the role.  Remain positive, diplomatic and find something flattering to say about each former employer.  After all, even bad jobs provide valuable experiences that help make you a seasoned career professional.

We’d love to hear your comments.  What is the hardest interview question you have ever been asked?  Share by leaving a comment below.