So your resume generates plenty of interest, yet the offer letter never seems to come. What went wrong? Resumes can only be so descriptive and top candidates often look equally appealing on paper. This is where mastering the art of the interview becomes integral to your job hunt’s success. Remember, each person invited to interview for a position already appears to be a good fit on paper, so it’s up to you to differentiate yourself from the pack to receive that job offer.
Take Note of the Atmosphere
An important aspect of an interview is evaluating how well you would mesh with the hiring manger’s team. Pay attention to how your interviewer is behaving. Are they exuding a laid back vibe and taking the interview in a more conversational direction? Do they seem to be straightforward and strictly business? There’s a good chance that the hiring manager’s personality will be similar to that of his team’s. Try to align your demeanor with your interviewer’s to be considered a good match for their team.
Eagerness May Backfire
As interested as you may be in the position, you want to avoid appearing too intense. If you seem overzealous before even knowing the details of the position, the hiring manager may begin to wonder if it is this particular position you are interested in, or if it’s simply any position. It’s certainly okay to be excited about a position, but you must also be able to articulate the reasons behind your excitement. Is your hiring manager a well known expert in the field? Is the company the hottest start up in the tech arena? Let them know how you feel.
Internal Candidates Have an Edge
If you are interviewing with a larger company, you may also be competing against several internal candidates for the position. This alone can be one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome because even if you have an excellent interview, the hiring manager may still be inclined to select an internal candidate for the job. This is because there is less risk associated with choosing an internal candidate, as they already have a proven track record with the company.
What Can You Do for Me?
Experience has shown that simply having the requested skill set does not mean a candidate is the best person for the job. You must convince the hiring manager that your previous experience is transferable and can be applied to the new role to help the company meet their objectives. Explain how in previous roles, you regularly pitched articles to the media and have since developed an impressive list of contacts at various news outlets. Tell them how the roles you’ve held in the past will be of benefit to them today.
Your resume may get you to the interview, but it takes far more than hard skills to seal the deal.
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