Free Interview Tips #3 – Why Some People Get Their Dream Job When Others Fail

You know I have probably interviewed over a thousand candidates during my career to date and I am constantly surprised by how poorly some people present themselves at the interview. Even some older and ideally more experienced job seekers arrive for the interview poorly dressed, carrying a plastic bag or rucksack that to me gives the impression that they just don’t care.

So in this the last of my email tips I’m going to share a piece of information that is really common sense but so often forgotten.

The Smallest Things Can Decide Success Or Failure!

It is very true, especially where two or more applicants are so equally qualified that the smallest of detail can make all the difference between success and failure.

1. First Impressions Count

An interview is more than just questions and answers and the interviewer will be making a decision based not just on the answers you give but on a whole range of non-verbal signals.

Recent research has shown that in terms of our tendency to form impressions: 55% is based on appearance, 38% on tone of voice, 7% on the words being said. When this is coupled with the fact that a decision can be made in the first 2 minutes of a job interview and possibly in the first 30 seconds it goes without saying that what you wear can have a huge impact. The right choice of clothing and accessories can make a very powerful first impression and win you the job or indeed the wrong choices can lose you the job.

Poor presentation can cast a negative light over the whole of the rest of the interview and it can mean a difficult uphill battle. Bear in mind all of the recommendations and tips for creating a good first impression such as arriving on time, wearing appropriate dress, adopting the right body language, creating rapport etc. Many of them are common sense but so easily forgotten in the lead up to the interview.

2. The two magic words every interviewer loves to hear

As an interviewer you have to remember that my time is limited. I am looking for someone who arrives knowing what to expect, has an idea of the questions and is able to give me the information I need clearly and succinctly.

And what I want more than anything is for someone to show me, to prove to me that YES, they can do the job and YES they can do it better than any other candidate. How to prove you are the best candidate for the job

Use these two magic words: ‘For Example

Giving an example is the most effective way to prove to me that you can actually what you say you can. With a well structured example, I can see instantly how skilled you are and I have evidence that you can do the job. You haven’t just told me you can do the job, you have shown that you can!

3. What to do if you are offered a drink?

Imagine the scenario. You accept the offer of a drink, a coffee with milk and sugar. Your interviewer has to go to the coffee machine and wait while your drink is prepared. You then have to sit with a steaming cup of coffee, trying to answer questions while avoiding any risk of spillage. Not a good start to the interview!

So what should you do if offered a drink? My advice is to only accept a drink if: a. You really need one (e.g. if you suffer from dry mouth due to nervousness) b. There is an obvious place to put it (i.e. a table or desk) c. It involves minimal effort for the interviewer.

If in doubt, a polite ‘No thank you, I just had one’ is fine.

4. The Importance of Thank You Letters

Sending a thank-you letter or email after your interview may sound like an unnecessary or trivial action however this can make all the difference between a losing and a winning candidate.

Imagine the interviewer is about to make their decision and has to choose between two equally suitable candidates. They receive a Thank You Letter from one but not from the other. With this letter they are reminded of who the candidate is and of the skills they bring. They see that this candidate is keen on the role and they are more likely to make them an offer because they know it will probably be accepted.

A Thank You letter or email is a vital marketing tool, don’t underestimate just how important it is.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my email tips. I imagine that some of them may be painfully obvious however these little things can make a big

Wishing you all the best for your interview.

Annette Lewis
Interview Coach

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