5 Small (Yet Powerful) Ways To “Ace” The Interview

February 15, 2016

In the interviewing process, you’d be surprised how the smallest gestures make a difference in the minds of those evaluating you. At first glance, they may seem incredibly minor. Yet, at GForce, we’ve noticed how a collection of small moves can create big advantages for the savvy candidate who pays attention to the details.

As you practice for your next interview, don’t forget these smart strategies that not every candidate will remember to utilize throughout the course of the interview to create a lasting impression.

#1: Write A “Thank You” Note After Every Interview As recruiters, we’re often amazed by how few “thank you” notes we receive from candidates. You need to be obsessive about writing personalized “thank you” notes after every interview.

Not only will you show a high level of thoughtfulness in doing so but you’ll also stand a greater chance of leaving an impression compared to other candidates who never send anything after the interview.

#2: Practice That Handshake Think all handshakes are created equal? Think again. Managers tend to remember the extremes when it comes to handshakes. If you have a flimsy, weak handshake that feels lifeless, it sends a subtle message of being weak or disinterested. On the other hand, you don’t want to crush your interviewer’s fingers (talk about literally coming off too strong)!

So practice a solid, firm handshake with a friend a few times just to make sure it’s the right balance. It’s a seemingly small move that sets the tone. And if you have a phobia of touching someone’s hand, carry some hand sanitizer for later!

#3: Look Them In The Eye What’s going on outside the window or on the ground? Is that more important than the interviewer in front of you? Of course not and it’s not as if you intended to give that impression. Yet that’s exactly what you’re inadvertently saying when you can’t make great eye contact.

Fantastic eye contact doesn’t mean staring your interviewer down and making them uncomfortable. It means you should remember that the person across from you deserves your full attention. The same goes for when you’re speaking – as you’re telling a story about a past job, take note of where your eyes go. Are you looking at the sky, left, right, down and everywhere else besides the interviewer’s eyes? You may even try recording yourself in practice just to see how you communicate because many people just don’t realize how their eyes wander.

#4: Be The Interviewer Too By Asking Terrific Questions Frankly, if you only answer “yes” or “no” to an interviewer’s questions, you’re going to face long odds of getting the job. Remember that the best interview is a conversation, not a one-sided flow of communication.

They want to hear about you as a person, so while you should be prepared to answer any question about responsibilities related to the job description, don’t forget to interview them too. So think of all the potential questions you have that tie into the position, your co-workers, your managers, the culture, the company’s goals for this year, the company’s goals in ten years and more.

#5: Tell A Better “Skills Story” Naturally, you have a collection of skills on your resume but at GForce, we frequently tell our candidates to share how their skills directly link to the job description. Yes, you have a certain number of years of experience associated with that skill, but how, when and where have you applied it to create positive outcomes? Take them through those moments in the past where your competency in a particular skill came through to solve a challenge for the company. Now relate it to how you see using the knowledge in the very role you’re applying for. This is how you help your skills leap off the page of a resume and become real world examples that are easier to envision.

What other moves have you taken before, during or after the interview in an effort to provide the best experience possible? We’d love to hear about any tips you may have – even the littlest things that can make big differences!