Hiring managers typically use your résumé to determine whether you’re qualified for the job, and the interview to decide if you’re the perfect fit.
Knowing that, most people take the process very seriously. They arrive to the interview on time, dress impeccably, and answer each question intelligently.
But as it turns out, there’s more to it than just showing up and doing your best — there are dozens of small details that overtly or subconsciously affect the way you’re perceived.
Yes, it may be difficult to know when your rival is interviewing, but if you happen to know, schedule your interview on a different day. Basically, research shows that whether or not you're considered qualified for a position depends on who else is applying for the job.
'People are averse to judging too many applicants high or low on a single day, which creates a bias against people who happen to show up on days with especially strong applicants,' according to a study in the journal Psychological Science.
However, this comparison only lasts for one day, which means that you are only compared to people who are interviewing on the same day as you -- not the day before or after.
It's not only about being competent and confident, but it's also about whether you feel powerful.
Do you feel like you have the ability to influence others? If you don't, you should try holding yourself in a power pose for two minutes before the interview, advises Harvard professor Amy Cuddy. Practice stances with your arms and elbows out and chin lifted.
According to Cuddy, this will increase your abstract thinking abilities, pain threshold, risk-tolerance, and levels of testosterone, the dominant hormone that makes you feel more confident and powerful. Feeling powerful will make you more assertive, accept criticism more gracefully, present more captivating and enthusiastic speeches, and, overall, turn you into a high performer.
You can do these poses in an elevator or even a bathroom stall. Just make sure you're alone so that you can really focus on the change in your body chemistry.
'Drinking coffee, eating, or talking on your cell is not the first impression you want to make with the hiring manager -- or the receptionist,' says Taylor. 'You don't know exactly when the interviewer will show up, so be at the ready.'
She suggests keeping one hand free so that you can quickly shake hands without awkwardly placing all your personal items on a chair or on the floor. 'You want to appear organised and attentive.'
'Also, as you wait, either make conversation with the receptionist (if he or she is available to talk), review notes from your notebook, or review any company materials for guests. Maintain a pleasant smile and upbeat demeanor.'
Employers want to know how you interact with others regularly, so a common tactic is to ask the receptionist about you later.
'A lot of our job candidates are from out of town, and we'll pick them up from the airport in a Zappos shuttle, give them a tour, and then they will spend the rest of the day interviewing,' Hsieh says. 'At the end of the day of interviews, the recruiter will circle back to the shuttle driver and ask how he or she was treated. It doesn't matter how well the day of interviews went, if our shuttle driver wasn't treated well, then we won't hire that person.'
If they offer you something to drink besides water -- especially coffee -- don't accept it.
Your interviewer doesn't want to spend 10-minutes just to make you a cup of coffee, say authors John B. Molidor and Barbara Parus in their book 'Crazy Good Interviewing: How Acting A Little Crazy Can Get You The Job.'
This is especially true if they have a busy day ahead, since they're now spending even more time than they originally planned just to make you coffee.
ScienceDaily.com reports that narcissists score much higher than others in job interviews, and it's because they're comfortable with self-promoting.
Since narcissists typically think they're fantastic, the interviewer may think so, too.
As benign as this might seem, people notice when you're peeking at your watch or phone, and you certainly don't want to convey that you're not engaged in the conversation, Taylor explains.
'Even having your cell phone in plain sight is disrespectful. You're not going to text or take calls, so turn it off and put it away. Make sure your hiring manager has your undivided attention.'
'When you're in the interview, your default should be sitting straight and keeping a pleasant smile on your face,' Taylor says.
Avoid slumping in your chair and remember to lean forward, showing interest in the interviewer. 'Even if you feel the discussion is going south, maintain your poise, posture and inflection. That can sometimes help you turn things around.'
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