Let’s face it: The prospect of attending a job interview is typically a rather nerve-racking experience. On your end, there’s a lot on the line, from your potential career to your potential livelihood (not to mention your dignity!).
In such a situation, the person conducting the interview is typically seen as the one with all the power. But, this is only the case if you, the person being interviewed, allow it to be. And, the fact of the matter is, the more power you give to your interviewer, the less likely you are to make a good impression.
(Note: This isn’t to say you should completely take the reins. Overconfidence is typically just as much a turn-off as a lack of such.)
At any rate, in this article we’ll discuss three simple ways in which you can control your side of your next interview – in turn proving to your prospective employer that you can handle even the most stressful of situations in the process.
3 Subtle Ways to Take Control of Your Next Job Interview
While, as we said, you don’t necessarily want to take full control of your next job interview, you absolutely should come to the table with the ability to lead the conversation when it’s your turn to do so.
You can do so in the following ways:
1) Empathize With Your Interviewer’s Needs
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is:
You were not invited to the interview because you need a job. You were invited because your potential employer saw you as one of the best people to fulfill a need for their company.
It may sound a bit counterintuitive, but by shifting the focus of discussion toward your interviewer’s needs, you can actually show just how valuable you can be to the company.
First of all, doing so proves that you’ve done your research, and that you care about the company in question.
Secondly, this shows you’re interested not just in getting hired, but in doing what needs to be done to help the company succeed.
Lastly, by focusing on the company’s needs, you can further explain how you intend to fill the current gap. In this way, you’re not boasting about your abilities – you’re simply showcasing why you’re the best person for the task at hand.
2) Be Inquisitive and Curious
No matter how much research you’ve done on your interviewing company, there will always be more to learn.
So, while it’s definitely good to show that you’ve done your research (as mentioned above), you don’t want to come off as a know-it-all in the process. With that in mind, you should always look for moments in which you can dig deeper into the topic at hand – whether in discussing the position, the company, or the industry as a whole.
One of the most important soft skills modern employees can exhibit is that of being a lifelong learner. By showcasing your inquisitive nature from the get-go upon your first interview, you’ll make it known to your prospective employee that you are always ready to learn something new.
3) Be Personable
This is typically one of the toughest things for interviewees to do – which is why it’s often what can set you apart from the rest of the talent pool.
As we’ve said, job interviews are usually pretty nerve-racking. Because of this, it can be rather tough to “be yourself” – especially in a room full of people you’re just meeting for the first time. While you definitely don’t want to act too casual or comfortable, you certainly want to exhibit an air of “coolness” in order to show you deal well when under pressure.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your hobbies, interests, and other areas of your life (within reason, of course). While you mainly want to focus on your abilities as a professional, you also want to show that you’d be a good cultural fit for the company, as well. Often, your ability to hold a conversation – regardless of the topic at hand – will be what sticks out when your interviewers look back on the many sessions they had throughout the day.
Remember: your interviewers are only human, just as you are. Your ability to engage with them on a personal level may be just what gives you an edge over the competition.
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