Job interviews can be intimidating for anybody. Your job history, education, presentation and communication skills are put under scrutiny. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to stand out from the competition.
Forbes contributor Carmine Gallo writes, "Several new surveys by companies like LinkedIn and McKinsey have arrived at the same conclusion: Communication skills are in high demand and low supply." Strong communications skills are paramount in a job interview.
Here are a few tips for MBA grads preparing for an interview:
Understand the Company
Before going to the interview, it is important to thoroughly research the company. You should have an understanding of the company's history, its founders and its relationship to the industry. Gallo writes, "If you're a job candidate and you don't know what the CEO says about taxes and trade, you're losing an opportunity to stand out from the others."
Familiarity with the company conveys an active interest and the ability to self-start, which are qualities a recruiter is going to be looking for.
Keep It Simple
If you're prepared and a bit nervous, it can be easy to fall into the trap of droning on during an interview. Know your strengths and prepare short, punchy answers and anecdotes. Experis Manpower Group offers a tip: "Don't bury your selling points in long-winded stories."
Gallo suggests giving a recruiter three reasons to hire you, three ways you can help the company profit and three resume highlights. This keeps the interview focused on your strengths and makes the interviewer more likely to remember you.
Reframe the Interview
It's common to view job interviews as a scenario where interviewers have something you want, and it's your job to convince them to give it to you. Try to re-frame this by thinking of an interview as your chance to evaluate if the company will be a good fit for you as well.
Having some questions prepared is a great way to reframe your thinking while showing an active interest in the company. According to Experis, "Interviewers always ask if you have any questions, and no matter what, you should have one or two ready."
Pay Attention to Details
Making a strong first impression is of utmost importance in a job interview. Be sure to dress well, be freshly groomed, and have good posture. Confident eye contact and a firm handshake can help you make a good impression.
Monster.com contributor Lily Martis writes, "A good handshake has the power to both diminish the impact of a negative impression and make a positive interaction even better." Some studies suggest that recruiters form their opinion of a candidate within the first few minutes of the interview.
There is a lot to consider when preparing for an interview, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. Stick to the basics, focus on your presentation, and be concise to stand out from the competition. Good luck!
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