With social media replacing the traditional in-person job hunt, a growing number of candidates for entry and mid-level positions lack important interview skills, careers experts claim. From shoes to handshakes, the small details that many of us think of as inconsequential can make a huge difference to the success of a job interview.
Time is one of the most important factors for job hunters to consider. While many of today’s busy professionals consider ‘on time’ to mean two to three minutes before a job interview, employment expert Lauren Ferarra believes that ‘on time’ is really 15 minutes early – the ideal time to arrive prior to a job interview.
Another key element of job interview success is anticipating – and planning for – the key questions. Kristy Stromberg, of SimplyHired.com, recommends that job hunters do their research on the company that they’re interviewing with and try to rehearse detailed, interesting answers before the event.
Behavioural factors are also important, according to public speaking coach Michael Weiss. Nervous shaking and heavy breathing are interpreted as signs of fear and can be negative factors in a job interview. Smiling indicates comfort and confidence, and should be a major part of any jobseeker’s interview behaviour.
Other factors affecting job interview performance include courtesy and honesty. It’s never a good idea to lie during a job interview, according to Ms Stromberg, who is a strong supporter of taking a clear and honest approach to your CV and experience. It also pays to be courteous – say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ during the interview.
With entry and mid-level positions at major employers becoming more competitive than ever before, even a small advantage can be very helpful. These simple tips may be the difference between a friendly brush-off and a great stepping stone for a very successful career.