5 Interview Secrets: What Employers Don’t Tell You

Over the years, I’ve had to hire team members to fill different roles. Here is some information that I didn’t know when I was a candidate looking for a job, but discovered as an interviewer.

When employers interview you, they already believe you are competent. Your resume and cover letter, an online application or profile have already told them that you have the skills, training and experience they are looking for. The pre-interview allows them to select candidates using these basic criteria before they meet with you.

Don’t let the job get away from you

Because they need an employee with your skills, and because the hiring process is time consuming, hiring managers arrive for an interview with the intention of offering you the position. Your challenge is not to let the job slip through your fingers.

Employers want to appreciate your human qualities

Since they already believe in your skills, and already want to hire you, what do most employers look for in an interview? Frankly, they want to know if they like you and if you fit in with the team. Once you are hired, they will see and talk to you on a daily basis. They will spend more time with you than they would with their own family or friends. So chemistry counts. That’s why ready-made answers to basic questions won’t work. If you claim that your main fault is being a “perfectionist workaholic,” the interviewer will not learn anything real about the real you and may be irritated by your insincerity.

Be kind, converse in a friendly manner rather than simply delivering memorized answers. Connect with the interviewer.

Your physical appearance is important

Your appearance may result in your hiring or rejection. You will look unprofessional or unserious if your clothes are too casual. If the corporate culture or the hiring manager himself or herself does not allow for multiple piercings, visible tattoos or curious facial hair, these could cost you the job. If you look nervous, sweaty, or easily confused, you may not be up to the job. Your interview clothes should be a little nicer than the job requires on a daily basis. Arrive a few minutes before the scheduled interview time so you don’t have to run, be calm and confident.

You may seem too eager to get the job…

Although employers prefer candidates who show a strong interest in their company, you may be too enthusiastic.

Your value as a candidate declines if you display an air of desperation. For example, if you already have a job and you tell the interviewer that you can start work right away, you could hurt your chances of getting the job. This indicates that you are ready to leave your current job in an unprofessional manner, without offering adequate notice. Does a company want to add this type of employee to its team?

While it’s a good idea to send a thank-you note after an interview, too many post-interview contacts can also eliminate you from the race. Multiple calls or emails to check the status of your application will portray you as a desperate candidate, and will likely irritate the employer.

Delays are unfair

The deadlines are not the same for employers and candidates. An employer can take as much time as they want to interview you after you apply, follow up after an interview and make an offer. The process is always longer than expected for a variety of internal company reasons. When an employer says you will have a response by the end of the week, it can take up to a month.

However, if you are asked to provide a list of references or samples of your work for the next day, send them the next day. Candidates must be timely and trustworthy. In addition, you may wait too long to respond to a job offer. If you wait to hear from another company, or use an offer to negotiate with your current employer, the offer may be cancelled. Employers hire new employees because they lack talent. They need employees and don’t have time to be taken for a ride. A job offer has an expiry date.

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