First of all, let me start out by saying that yes, I do realize this topic doesn’t really have anything to do with real estate. But if you think about it, you’re going to need an awesome job to buy that house. In order to get that awesome job you’re going to have to ace that interview. Exactly. Anyway, have you ever had an interview and wondered why you didn’t get the job? Yes of course it could be that someone else was simply just a little bit more qualified for the position, but it could be a plethora of other reasons as well. When it comes down to it, your interview is your opportunity to “sell” yourself to the company that you applied for, to make them want to hire you. How another person does in an interview is beyond your control, but you have the ability to do everything in your power to not give them a reason to not hire you, all else being equal.
Rule number one: be prepared. Now this statement could mean a number of things. It could mean remembering to brush your teeth in the morning and making sure your socks match. But assuming that most understand the basic rules of interview attire, what I’m talking about is preparing yourself for the specific job that you applied for. Know the company that you’re interviewing for. And I don’t mean going onto the website and regurgitating their mission statement from the “About” page back at the interviewer when they say “so what do you know about our company?” They know what their website says, they wrote it! What companies are really looking for is if you took that extra step to really understand what they do. Industry knowledge is not always necessary, but let’s say you were applying to Rohit Communities and have cannot name a community in all of Edmonton; you may have just ended your interview at question #3. Putting in just that little bit of extra effort shows the company that you are serious about the job.
You should also be prepared with some meaningful questions to ask during the interview. Keyword: meaningful. They should be relevant and significant to the job that you’re doing. Avoid going online and printing off a list of generic questions that may or may not have anything to do with the company. Questions that are specific to the job, and to the company, show you did your homework and have a greater interest in the actual job beyond it just being another job to you. It also allows an opportunity to engage in dialogue with the person you’re interviewing with, which may be the best way to show your personality a little bit more and make up for your possible lack of industry knowledge. Having an extra copy of your resume and a prepared list of your references is also a bonus to bring along as well.
Finally, technology has no place in an interview, especially your cell phone. I know this may seem like a given, but in this day and age it becomes harder and harder for people to detach themselves from their devices for even just a minute. An interviewer for any job wants to feel like your focus is on the interview and nothing else. There is probably nothing more irksome and unprofessional as an interviewee picking up their phone or checking for text messages in the middle of an interview. Text messages can wait and voice mail exists for a reason. Before an interview, turn your phone on silent (and by silent I don’t mean simply putting it to vibrate, you can still hear that thing!) or better yet, just leave it in the car. Most interviews run between 30 minutes to an hour, and if you cannot provide your full attention to what is going on in front of you for that long, there will be someone else who undoubtedly will.
Interviews can be tough and being anxious is perfectly normal, but preparation will help the entire process go a whole lot smoother and the likeliness of a callback will be much greater! Take your time, take that glass of water (if it’s offered) just in case, and take a deep breath. As long as you stay professional and show your personality (and of course flash your winning smile =D) you’ll leave a positive impression of yourself for your career endeavours. (And just because I can I will add one more shameless plug of available Rohit job here!) Good luck!