And if you think all hiring decisions are based on experience and qualifications, keep reading. The jittering experience of trying to impress your potential employers is all that stands between you and your next job.
Below, you’ll find 5 surprising tips to help you ace that interview.
1. Clean up your act on social media
You’re almost there! You just heard back from an employer who might just be ready to offer you a job. It’s time to put your best foot forward. Recent surveys have shown that approximately 45% of hiring managers use social media as part of a screening process to determine who you really are. If your social profile shows attributes of irresponsibility, offensive or rude, it can be quite a turn-off. Start by removing any undesirable photos, comments or tags you wouldn’t want any potential employer to see.
2. Choose a timing that works to your advantage
Is there really a best time to schedule an interview? You bet. We all can relate to Monday Blues and know how it feels like on Fridays. You want to ensure that you have the hiring manager’s full attention so it is best to avoid days when they are equally stressed or distracted. The same reason can be said for early morning, pre/post-lunch, and evening slots. Aim for timings between 10am to 11am or play it safe with 2pm to 3pm. So unless it’s a deal-breaker, be bold and suggest specific timings that you are less likely to find an impatient and lethargic interviewer.
3. Leave the power suit at home
There was a time when going for interviews mean putting on your best suit, and making sure your shoes are shined like mirrors. We’re not sure if the same rules apply today because a cultural shift has taken place. Think Google or Facebook, where a power suit can now come across as predictable than creative. The keyword here is appropriateness. Remember, employers want to hire people who will fit into their culture, and a significant role play in terms of what you dress for the first meeting. Do some homework and research on the company you’re applying for and try to get a sense on their daily dress code.
4. Ask unexpected questions
Most people aren’t brave enough to ask questions during an interview. Or even if they do, they fire uninspiring questions without giving second thoughts. First rule of thumb, refrain from superficial questions about employee benefits. Those are important too, but keep that to the end. Instead, focus your attention on asking thoughtful questions that show you’ve researched the company, and that you’re applying for the role to add value and contribute to the company’s long-term goals. For instance, an intellect question could sound like, “I noticed that your company’s website is translated into Mandarin as well. Are you planning on expanding into the Chinese market with a local team? If yes, I believe my strong command of the language and leadership qualities would be of great contribution to your future plans”.
5. Show your hands
There is a saying that your body language does the talking. And your hands are arguably your best assets when used appropriately. From handshakes to hand gestures while speaking, the hands stands as a form of establishing trust and sincerity, and it’s influence cannot be underestimated. Hide your hands during an interview and they express anxiety, a lack of confidence and can be misinterpreted as untrusting behavior. Experts also suggest that showing your palms signals honesty, which is one of the reasons why we shake hands in the first place.
6. Prepare for the weirdest questions
AirBnB famously threw curveballs at candidates by asking what they would do if they were the lone survival in a plane crash. What? While this might seem strange to many at first, the purpose behind such behavioral questions are meant to test your problem-solving skills and how well you handle being caught in unresolved situations. This question could be highly relevant especially if you are applying for a management position where critical thinking skills are involved. There is clearly no right answer to this question but it separates the street-smart from the book-smart.