Were you able to decorate a conversation for the job of your dreams? Standing out among a lot of other tough candidates is no easy task.
From the ideas and experiences from seasoned recruiters, these are what blows them off their seats.
Know what you want
For me, a real killer is a phrase ‘I’ll come and listen to what the job entails’. That approach is totally wrong. As an applicant, you have to convince the interviewer and the desire to do the job has to blow away. Do you want to make a positive impression? Then it is, therefore, a must to prepare very well. You must know the job-specific expectations and have carefully considered why the position is a match for you.
For example, we always ask if a candidate has other applications. If they are for a completely different type of position, this is an indication that the candidate does not yet know where he or she wants to go.
We consciously choose to make the name of the company known to our applicants. We, in turn, expect that they will perform the necessary research work. Of course, I would never ask the company history in detail, because anyone can learn the first page of the website from the outside. On the other hand, I appreciate it much more when someone can refer to certain projects or activities and clarifies why he or she agrees with that. This way you indirectly show interest in the company.
Furthermore, those who ask specific questions have a line on who does not do this. With questions such as ‘What is the reason why the vacancy is open?’ “To whom do I report?” or “How many people will I work with?” after all, show that you have thought about the position in terms of content and are looking specifically for it.
Candidates often think they have to sell themselves, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is all about staying as authentic as possible. That way we can best estimate whether someone would actually feel good at a certain post. People who sell themselves too often have a snag under the grass, which eventually comes up.
Be flexible and arrive 10 minutes early
Not only do you get the chance to score during the interview itself, but we also make a lot out of the agreements thereon. In my experience, the candidates with whom communication runs smoothly and who can easily free themselves often turn out to be the end candidates. How you present yourself as a candidate explains a lot about your intrinsic motivation and how you function in general. That way you’d better be too early than too late. If I have to choose between, say, two valid production managers, one of whom shows up one minute before the appointment and the other ten minutes earlier, my preference will be for the latter. After all, the person who was just one minute early could also deal with deadlines.
Screen the interviewer
It is very important to inform yourself thoroughly before the interview. You should not only study the vacancy and check the company’s website. Also, Google the company and make sure you are aware of important events because websites are not always up-to-date. Print out newspaper articles about recent news facts such as an IPO, takeover or launch of a new product and take them to the interview. In addition, prepare a few questions.
During a first interview, avoid questions in the direction of self-interest, such as salary, leave or career opportunities. Instead, ask questions that show your underlying motivation. Think of ‘what are the criteria on which I will be assessed’ or ‘what will my training program look like’. In addition, make sure that you are informed about the interviewer (s). Screen your contacts on LinkedIn and also print out their profile. By showing subtly that you have done your homework, you are guaranteed to make an impression.
Small details in the spotlight
For me, candidates can also score by being honest about their points of interest. Someone who only sells himself and does not mention any negative aspects really does not appear credible. The same applies to those who cite points of attention that are actually strong points. Think of ‘like to make things go fast’ or being impatient.
In a company, this is a positive trait in 90 percent of the cases. By speaking openly about your lesser sides and pointing out how you are trying to work on it, you are not weak, but authentic. Because no matter how strong a candidate may be, everyone has points for attention. My personal credo is, therefore: be yourself, no less, no more. It seems easy, but during a job interview, finding the balance between closing due to stress or selling yourself excessively often proves to be a real challenge.
Not a monologue
Don’t forget to leave enough room for the interviewer. Don’t just draw attention to yourself in an attempt to impress, but listen carefully to what the man or woman has to say for you. Do not interrupt and answer questions in a focused and substantiated way, without turning around. Freewheeling is not recommended.
Sometimes it helps to send an e-mail shortly after the interview to the recruiter to thank him for the pleasant conversation and to emphasize your interest in the vacancy again. If there are many other applicants and you are in danger of drowning in the crowd, you can get back on the radar that way after a good interview. Make sure that the tone of your message is not too intrusive.
Infiltrate a little
Do you know people in the company you have one last trump card that you can use to stand out? Contact them and find out what kind of corporate culture there is in the organization. Then tell the interviewer that you have informed yourself and that employee X or Y described the culture as follows. Ask the recruiter if that is consistent with his own finding. In this way, you give the signal that you have thoroughly investigated the vacancy.