Face to face interviews are far more advantageous than phone interviews. Interview candidates have more opportunities to impress the interviewer with their clothing, mannerisms and facial expressions. On the flip-side, they have just as many ways to shoot themselves in the foot.
In this piece, I will discuss a few tips that will help you get a position with the company of your choice.
I suggest you read my article on what the interviewers expect out of an interview candidate as a precursor to this one.
How to Nail the Face-to-Face Interview
- The day before your interview, spend some time reevaluating all the roles you’ve held and the respective activities you have performed. It is natural to have lost some activities from our memory banks as we move up the ladder.
- You must be absolutely sure why you plan to quit your present job and intend to join a new organization. You must have a strong reason because a sturdy response is crucial to this question.
- Your resume must be printed on a single side of a crisp, white sheet of paper. If you have multiple pages, staple them together. Do not rely on only preparing a single copy of your resume. Get at least three copies at a minimum. You might face a panel of interviewers, and there is always a possibility of your resume copy getting crumpled during travel and handling.
- Wear light-colored professional attire that is freshly pressed. The idea is not to have colors that are hard on the interviewer’s eyes. If you can wear a suit, do it.
- Be at the interview facility on time. Don’t arrive too early (as it might indicate how unoccupied you are) but being late is definitely out of the question.
- Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake. Make sure you don’t break his bones, but give him a feeling that you are in control. While you do this, keep a smile on your face.
- During the conversation with the interviewer, I would recommend that you follow a NLP technique called “modeling” to build a rapport with the interviewer. It follows four simple activities: mirroring, matching, pacing and leading. As per this technique, you would follow the nuances of the interviewer in speed and style of speech, and physical mannerisms. The rapport you can build by following this technique will effect you positively because you lead the discussion rather than the interviewer.
- A definite question that the interviewer will ask will involve you going through your resume or asking you for an introduction. Start from your current job and go back. Don’t go too far if you have tons of experience. Make sure the trail ends at your highest qualification in academics. Don’t bring up personal information unless asked.
- During the entire conversation, remember to highlight your strong areas and don’t rack up your weaknesses. Speak highly (but truthfully) of your achievements, even if you are repeating yourself. Do not bring up your weaknesses unless asked.
- I have never been a big fan of small talk while I interview people. Interviewers are generally pressed for time, and their objective is to identify the viable candidates from the weak ones. Small talk does not go towards this objective. Don’t get on the wrong side of the interview by asking irrelevant questions and definitely do not compliment for the heck of it. If there is something you genuinely appreciate, like the office décor, compliment wholeheartedly, but not for the sake of it.
- Listen to every word the interviewer has to say. It is paramount that you do this; your answer must be in line with what interviewers ask of you. I have seen some candidates waiting for me to finish so they can start blurting out their opinion or their side of the story. This annoys me, and the feeling is common among all interviewers. On this note, I like to add that you do not interrupt when he/she is speaking. Keep quiet until the interviewer expects you to talk.
- Maintain a positive attitude throughout the conversation. For example, when the interviewer asks for the reason that you are quitting your present job, do not say something like “There are too many office politics” or “the compensation is not good enough for my talent.” Keep it on the positive side by saying something like, “I have read plenty about your company and would cherish the challenging opportunities that lie ahead.”
- Stay in control by asking questions on the role you are going to perform, the ladder how it leads up to the CEO, and the growth path. You must show the interviewer that you are interested to know more about the work you are going to perform in the near future.
- Never be the one to bring up compensation and benefits during an interview. Let it come from the man/woman representing the company you intend to join. Although finances are crucial, we interviewers do not want it to be the focus of your attention as a potential employee of our organization, because it may look like your faithfulness would be attributed to money rather than the role you are offered. When the interviewers bring it up, speak up!
- At the end of the interview you must be inquisitive enough to ask about the next steps following the interview. You can ask something like, “So, can I expect that HR will get in touch with me for subsequent actions?” By saying this, you are being positive that your interview has gone in the right direction and you are looking forward to what lies ahead.