It’s the final hurdle, the finishing line is in sight. All your job search efforts over the last few months and weeks will come down to this one final hour of questioning (give or take). Now we all know the obvious “do’s” and ”don’ts” when it comes to job interviews, make eye contact, smile, be on time, read up about the company and so on. However, there are certain mistakes which many people don’t realise can potentially cost you your dream job.
Not making the last impression count
Most people only think about the importance of a great first impression, however, your last and final impression is just as, if not more important. So how does one leave a great last impression? Well, it’s simpler than you might think. At the end of the interview when you’re asked, “Do you have any questions?” make sure you ask an interesting one.
Don’t just say the usual “What’s the salary like?” or “How soon will you make a decision?”. Instead, use this as an opportunity to show off! For example, “I’ve noticed that in the last three years that you’ve opened up four new stores in London. It clearly shows that your company is growing far quicker than your competitors, what’s the reason behind your success?”. Asking a thoughtful question is like adding that final polish.
Not small talking
Remember interviewers aren’t looking for someone to simply do the job, they also want someone they’ll enjoy working with. The less likable you are the less likely you are to get the job.
The biggest opportunity to build rapport is when the interviewer comes to meet you at reception. Your walk to the interview room is your one minute of small talk time to build rapport. It’s important to make that time count. Talk about the weather, maybe your journey to the office or if you know that the hiring manager is a huge sports fan (via your research) talk about the game at the weekend and so on. Try to keep the conversation flowing. By the time you’ve made it to the interview room and sat down, the hiring manager is thinking, “I have a good feeling about this one”.
Fear of the awkward silence
Picture this moment, you’re about to finish answering a question, however, instead of finishing you start thinking, “Do they want more from me?”. A moment of panic sets in and you continue your answer beyond its natural conclusion into a rather confused waffle. Your answer has gone from great to mediocre.
To avoid this conclude your answer at a place where you feel it’s right. There might be an awkward moment of silence which lasts a few seconds and that moment might feel like an age, but don’t be afraid of it. In the majority of cases the silence is there because the interviewers are being polite and want to give you the time and space to answer the question. It’s important to keep your cool because there’s nothing worse than an answer which starts off great but ends up in a cul-de-sac. Once you’ve finished your answer ask them, “Would you like me to elaborate/explain further?”. If they say “Yes” you can then continue your answer.
Farhan Raja is the founder of www.jobinterviewology.com. Request a free interview consultation using the form below.