Now that summer is in the rearview mirror, many job seekers are getting ready to buckle down and focus on finding their next opportunity.
And the timing couldn’t be more right—as many employers are gearing up for their end-of-year rush and looking to expand their ranks with some new talent. If you hope to count yourself among one of those new additions, you’re likely dusting off and polishing up your resume—but just as important as your background experience is the here and now: the all-important job interview!
We’re all likely familiar with the age-old interview tips: firm handshake, good eye contact, pre-plan a few questions. And while those are all certainly important, today’s job candidates should also prep with the current context in mind: The events of the last few years have turned traditional hiring on its head—recruiters are accustomed to conducting interviews via Zoom, employers are looking to move quick to compete for talent, candidates have a lot more choice than in the past. And all of that means it’s time to step up your interview game!
Here are a few bits of inspiration to get you started:
Change Your Mindset
Traditionally, job candidates went into interviews with the person on the other side of the table holding most of the power: The applicant was there to impress, and that was that! Things are a lot different today. The job market has swung in favor of candidates in recent years, which should give applicants a bit more confidence—and a sense of empowerment. When thinking of questions, you want to ask the interviewer, do so with the knowledge that you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. You want to find out if they’re the right fit for you—so find out if they offer the benefits you need, the schedule you want, the culture you’re looking for. Reframing that power dynamic in your mind can alleviate a lot of the stress and anxiety common before job interviews.
If the pandemic taught both employers and employees one thing, it’s the value of empathy: Kids and animals joined workers on virtual calls, schedules became more flexible, and people began talking more openly about mental health challenges. That underlying theme also applies to interviewing—be open and be yourself! Professionalism is still important, but talking about how you can translate lessons learned from your personal life to your professional world, for example, is now considered the norm. Show off your experiences, your personality, and your strengths to impress—and being yourself can put you, and the interviewer, much more at ease.
Don’t Forget The Etiquette
Yes, today’s job interviewing process is likely a bit lower-pressure, but that doesn’t mean you can forget the basics. If you’re interviewing in person, bring along copies of your resume and any supporting materials to help make yourself stand out. Stay engaged throughout the conversation and don’t let it end when you walk out the door—follow up with the interviewer with a phone call, email or even a handwritten note to reinforce your interest and leave a lasting impression.
Keep these tips in mind and head into your next interview confident, prepared and ready to score that role. Good luck!
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