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
How To Avoid The Biggest Virtual Interview Mistake
The biggest mistake you can make with a virtual interview is not taking it seriously. In the past, phone interviews were used primarily for screening. A recruiter or human resources associate called potential candidates to get basic information: are they still looking, do they meet the essential qualifications, do their salary requirements fall in the employer’s range, etc.
They also screened for basic communication skills. Can this person carry on a conversation?
If the candidate passes the initial screening they were invited in for an interview.
Virtual interviews, even for local candidates, was becoming more common when I was a recruiter almost 10 years ago. When COVID hit virtual interviews became the only option.
And it looks like virtual interviews are here to stay.
Today, candidates will likely have have several virtual interviews before being invited for an in-person discussion.
- A screening interview – with a recruiter or HR associate
- A longer interview with senior HR personnel
- A phone or Skype interview with the hiring manager’s assistant or someone else on the team
- A phone or Skype interview with the hiring manager
While these steps are a generalization, the point is that you should expect to have 2 to 3 video or phone interviews before meeting anyone in person.
How To Prepare For Your Phone Or Video Interview
Today the hiring process often begins with a brief phone screening with a third-party recruiter or HR associate. The employer’s main purpose is to get some basic information: your salary requirements and availability.
The interviewer also is trying to get a sense of who you are and how you might fit into the company culture. Smart candidates use an initial interview as an opportunity to learn more about the employer as well.
In some respects it’s like a first date: each party is evaluating whether or not he or she wants to take the relationship further.
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 Make A Great Impression During A Phone Or Skype Interview
The goal of every job seeker is to get in front of a potential employer. To have the opportunity to sit down and sell yourself to the hiring manager. However, you’re probably going to have to navigate two to three virtual interviews before you’re invited in for a face-to-face.
Today the interview process usually begins with a 20 to 30 minute phone screening either with a third-party recruiter or a human resources associate. The goal is to learn more about you.
Until the first “meeting” you’re just another resume and/or LinkedIn profile.