Consider this simple question: Why didn't you get the job you interviewed for?
Now before you start thinking: 'What can I do about that? I don't have control over what companies think of me or how I seem to them!' Hear us – and them – out.
Naturally you don’t control their brains. How someone feels about you when they first meet you depends on many things: a person’s frame of mind at a certain moment. The temperature outside. Whether you are similar to that person – and even – their own opinions, assumptions and experiences will come in.
But you still have more power than you think to influence what they conclude about you: by what you say or do. And we are going to share with you what you can start doing and saying. These are things you can control.
So, why didn't they hire you?
1. Did you make a good first impression?
You may be surprised to learn that the window of time you have to make an excellent first impression is just SEVEN SECONDS. That means you need to act quick! If nothing else, just remember these tips to start with:
•Arrive on time. Arrive early; but whatever you do, don’t turn up LATE to your interview.
•Dress appropriately. Remember that your interviewer will most likely see you before they hear you. Arrive looking clean, smart and professional.
•Be friendly, polite and don’t forget to SMILE. There’s nothing more off-putting than a bad attitude. Whether you’re having a bad day or you had a terrible journey – leave it at the door.
2. Did you show the skills you want to be paid for?
Technical skills matter. Employers don’t just want to know what you've listed on your CV; they want to know the skills you can DEMONSTRATE if they were to hire you. Certain jobs require a particular level of expertise, knowledge and functional skill. Whether you’re just out of school or have a wealth of experience in the field, ascertaining a level of proficiency in your subject matter is expected. While no one expects you to know everything, it’s always recommended to at least research the expectations of the role you’re applying for as well as background information on the company and the industry.
3. Did you sell yourself?
Employers don’t have the time or money to hire the wrong people. They’re not just interested in what you can do; they’re trying to identify the kind of person you are. They know the attitudes and characteristics that work well and the ones that don’t. They are watching and listening for signs of which ones you have, for instance: maturity, excitement about the job and the industry, ability to communicate, leadership potential and that ‘something special’.
Experience isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to recruiting – don’t forget to sell your character too. For example, given the choice between someone with experience and someone who can demonstrate that they’re an excellent problem solver – Irene, CEO of Yvonne Lewis Group, is willing to take a bet on the problem solver.
4. Were you magnetic?
If you’re in an interview with Yvonne Lewis, the interviewer will try to work out whether or not you are a good fit. Employers are wondering:
• “What would it be like to have this person working at my company?”
• “Is he or she an interesting addition to our team?”
• “Will this person wire in with the existing staff?”
One thing for sure an employer will look for is whether you’re approachable, personable and LIKEABLE. Make an effort with every member of staff, from the receptionist on arrival to the interviewer themselves – remember that they could soon be your colleagues.
If you want to get hired, doesn't it make good sense to care about what “they” think?