How To Make A Connection During Job Interviews
A strong results-driven resume can help you get your foot in the proverbial door. But after that, you’re on your own.
Even the most compelling, well-designed resume is not a “silver bullet.”
There are a lot of ingredients to a successful job interview. Know your resume cold. Prepare to answer the most common interview questions.
The secret sauce, however, is making a connection with the job interviewer. To do that you’ll need to build rapport, communicate effectively, and end the interview on a high note.
#1 BUILD RAPPORT
Finding common ground and showing interest will help you quickly connect with the job interviewer.
Look for things you have in common like:
- Sports participation or favorite teams
- Interest in the arts or entertainment
- Attended the same college or university
- Share a volunteer cause
- Support or member of same organization
Want To Get Promoted? Up Your Game.
The proverb “all things come to those who wait” was meant to instill patience. The truth is, “everything comes to him who hustles while he waits,” attributed to Thomas Edison, is a better remembrance for those who want to get ahead in their career.
The days of getting promoted because you’ve been warming a chair for X number of years are over.
Today, you need to position yourself for advancement actively.
Build and Nurture Your Network
Whether you’re an executive or a young careerist, it’s easier to move ahead when you have help. Most people think of building a network as making external connections. However, establishing relationships within your organization is equally important, particularly if you’re angling for a promotion.
Attending industry events is a great way to meet new people; however, don’t forget about the people you work with now. Go beyond the company’s holiday party, take advantage of opportunities to meet colleagues at all levels. Work on the company newsletter or volunteer to help with the next event or participate in the “whatever” drive.
Get to know colleagues at all levels. Turn acquaintances into friends over lunch or dinner. I have too many friends, said no one ever.
How to Communicate More Effectively with Introverts (And Extroverts)
Being able to communicate effectively becomes essential as you rise in your career. Any team you manage will include members with vastly different communication styles. The department heads and Board members you may work with do as well.
Sadly, most of us think of communication as output—speaking, writing, instructing, explaining, etc. We forget about the flipside, input, or listening. But we can change that.
As a vocational counselor, I learned about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which helps determine career satisfaction based on a person’s personality type. As a former psych student, I was intrigued. I read more about the MBTI and became certified to administer it as well.
Today, the MBTI is used by more than 88% of Fortune 500 companies for “people growth,” according to The Myers-Briggs Company, which publishes the assessment.
One of the most significant benefits I’ve found is that it can help people understand their communication style and others’ communication style. Here are a few things I learned about how we interact from Type theory.
How To Create Stories That Sell You To Employers
Most of the resumes I see focus on what people do on a daily basis. The result is a boring list of duties and responsibilities that’s unlikely to inspire anyone to call them. Employers want to know what you can do for them.
The best way to show your value is to focus on what you’ve done for your current and previous employers. The impact you’ve made. The same is true for interviews. Employers don’t want to hear about what you do every day. They want to hear about your achievements in terms of the impact you’ve made.
Prepare for your interviews with stories that illustrate your value. Like all stories, there should be a beginning, a middle, and an end.
How To Establish Yourself As A Thought Leader
A tight job market means tougher competition. People who hadn’t considered moving a couple of years ago are passively looking. Those casually looking have transitioned from passive to active job seekers.
Today, standing out from your competition is essential.
If you’re a senior executive or pursing those roles, one of the best strategies is to have others see you as an authority in your industry, a thought leader.
One way to be recognized as a thought leader is to share knowledge with your community.
How To Avoid A Typical (Boring) Conversation
You’ve probably heard that networking is the best way to find a job. One reason is that people like to hire people they know, which expands to someone referred by someone they know.
Unfortunately, many people are uncomfortable starting a conversation with a stranger. That makes it difficult to meet people at a networking event.
Unless you’re one of the first to arrive, many networking events are bustling from the moment you walk in the door. There are several groups chatting. Even worse are parties of two who seem in deep conversation.
One way to engage with a group is to stand close by and wait for an opportunity to join. Great connectors are always looking for people lurking and will invite them in to the conversation.
A more direct approach is to simply ask “Can I join you?”
I’ve never had anyone or any group say no.
15 Tips To Help You Succeed In Your Next Job Interview
Job interviews are nerve-racking to say the least. In many cases, this is the first “personal” connection you’ll have with someone at the company.
Your resume got you in the door. Now it’s up to you to show them your best self.
Here are 15 tips to help you make the most of your next job interview. You’ll notice that half of them involve planning in advance.
Before the Interview
- Plan more than enough time to get to in-person job interviews. Visit the location a day or two in advance to eliminate surprises.
- Use a landline whenever possible during phone interviews. If you must use your cell test the connection before your scheduled interview.
- If you are taking a phone interview at your office find a quiet, out-of-the-way place. Avoid the rest room, hallway, or stairs where someone from your office is likely to see you.
- Research the company in advance. Read through their website, it may give you come insight into the company culture.
- Review the company’s social media presence. What do they post? If there any interaction or just automatic posting?
- Research the people you’ll be interviewing with in advance. Many organizations have information on staff members. Take the time to look them up on LinkedIn too.
- Prepare answers to the most commonly asked interview questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Tell me about a time when you made a mistake” and “What is your greatest weakness?”
- Have a few questions ready for when the interviewer asks “Do you have any questions?” The advance research you’ve done will help with this.
During the Interview