In your quest for that perfect next job, your goal for the first interview is to make a positive first impression to advance to a follow-up meeting or better yet, receive an offer. Many of the factors which influence the interviewer’s decision relate to how you present yourself and the questions you ask in the meeting. Our Talent Recruitment Team at Enova meets with more than 1,000 new candidates each year and identified these seven key points to follow to ensure making it to the second interview.
To start, here are some sure-fire ways to turn off the interviewer and end your chances of moving forward:
Being long winded. Get to the point in your answers making it easy for the interviewer to understand and if necessary record your response. It displays good communication skills which is increasingly important in most businesses. Also, not listening to directions or the question and answering in an arrogant way will surely backfire.
Calling yourself a “people person.”
It’s annoying, overused, and doesn’t make you anymore unique than others being considered. Rather, break down the skills that make you good at collaborating with other people and provide examples of how you possess and use them.
Be conscious of your physical presence. Wearing a blinking blue tooth during an interview can be very distracting and awkward. (Yes, it really happened once!) Arrive fresh, smelling clean and well assembled in appropriate business dress for the situation.
A bad attitude.
Don’t be a Debbie Downer. It is an interview, not a chance to throw yourself a pity party. No interviewer wants a case of the blues after an interview. Be positive, upbeat, and cheerful.
Don’t forget that asking questions of the interviewer is an important part of a successful meeting. It shows your interest in the role and allows you to uncover additional requirements of the position that you can address with your qualifications.
Here are three questions to ask in every interview:
- What is the most successful person doing on the team differently compared to those that are mediocre producers; what’s the secret to that person’s success? This should help determine what skills (tangible or intangible) one needs to possess in order to be successful. Build off of those identified skills then in explaining your unique talents.
- What do you like and dislike most about working at the company? Such a straightforward question recognizes that not every company is perfect and that you are looking for the right fit. Honesty should help develop rapport with the interviewer and this question shows you value their personal opinion too.
- What are the next steps in the interview process? You can remove any ambiguity in the process by simply asking what will happen next and when the position might be filled. You’ll leave the interview with a realistic sense of what it will take for you to win over the interviewer.
Follow these practical tips and your first interview will certainly turn into a second.
Sarah Doll, senior director of talent management at Chicago-based Enova International. With 1,000 plus employees, $660 million in revenues, online lender Enova is reshaping how Americans borrow with the use of technology and analytics. It is Sarah Doll and her team’s job to fill 200+ new positions each year with the country’s top technology talent and ensure they are successfully acclimated into the company.