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18 Insider Tips on Job Interview Success

17 Tips During Interview | The First Few Seconds

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Interview tips that will improve your chances of landing your new job

1.   Ever heard of the web? Don’t go into an interview and ask the interviewer “Can you tell me about your company?” WTF! This is the connected age. Do your research; check out the company’s website, any recent announcements or news, and any information you can get from LinkedIn.

2.   Keen on a role? Get Google Alerts and be ‘updated daily’ or ‘updated as it happens’ on the news as it impacts the employer you are targeting. Then you’ll be in-the-know.

3.   Follow the interviewer’s lead. If they are OK with small talk, then it’s OK for small talk time. Once it’s down to business, then talk business.

4.   George Clooney in the movie Up in The Air said “I stereotype. It’s faster.”  The truth of the matter is that people do stereotype.  Recruiters and Hiring Managers make up their minds what they think and feel about the other person in the first few seconds of their meeting. Within 20 seconds that view has firmed. Work on making positive impressions in the first few seconds.

5.   If your interview lasts less than 20 minutes, then despite you thinking otherwise, it’s unlikely that you got the job…even if you think you are the best candidate for the role.

6.   If you have a weak handshake, Recruiters do take notice. It’s not good.  If you have a bone crusher handshake, Recruiters do take notice. It’s almost as bad as a weak handshake.

7.   Be sure to be courteous with the Reception and Admin staff. If you aren’t, the likelihood is the interviewer is going to hear about it.

8.   Check out what the company’s dress code policy is before turning up for the interview. Turning up to a business casual employer in a suit, sends the wrong signal. And vice versa.  Fit in with the tribe.

9. If your interview is on a business casual day, check in with your Recruiter or with the Hiring Manager themselves that you are OK to turn up in business casual. E-mail the interviewer ahead checking:  “As my interview is on a day that is business casual in your office, I assume it will be fine for me to turn up wearing business casual as well. Please let me know one way or the other.”

10. Wear long enough socks. I knew a French CEO who failed people at interview if he could see any man’s skin between the sock and the trouser line.

11. Polish your shoes. An interview is like going to school for the first day.

12.  If you are wearing a jacket and they are in short sleeves,  say something  like “if it’s OK with you, I am going take off my jacket. Where should I put it?” Mirror the interviewer’s standard of attire.  If they are in shirt sleeves and blouses, it gives you permission to be more relaxed.

13.  Turn up 15 minutes before your interview. This allows you to relax and check out the front of the office dynamic.  There are clues to what’s really going on in the company at Reception. Pick up on any conversation taking place there.  Notice what you notice.

14. If you are asked by the interviewer what you know about the company, do not merely regurgitate what’s on their Home page. Instead, interpret the company in the context of the role for which you are applying.

15. If you get asked to “tell me about you”. Don’t start off at Kindergarten. Instead ask the interviewer what part of you, they would like to hear about.

16. Keep the ‘About You’ part of the interview limited to 2 – 3 minutes and watch out for any changes in the interviewer’s body language. Disengaged means stop and re-engage with a question back to them.

17. An interview is as much about you checking out your future employer, as it is about them checking you out. Ask questions – prepared before your interview.  Interview the interviewer so you can especially check your fit with the role and their culture.

18. Set a clear intention from the start to understand from the Recruiter or Hiring Manager what are the next steps after your interview.

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About the author:

Greg Weiss is the Founder of The First Few Seconds and CareerSupport365. He has almost 30 years success in HR and in career coaching people.  The First Few Seconds job readiness modules can be found here.

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