Not every interviewer is the same. You will encounter a multitude of personalities, and all will require a different approach to winning them over. Your most valuable asset will be your adaptability, but how do you know what to look for when you need to change your strategy. Follow the interviewer's cues.
Here are some tactics you can use to ensure you and your interviewer are on the same page:
1. Don't respond before you process
If you are asked a question, you should repeat at least the last few words of the question in order prove you are listening to the interviewer, processing the information, and making an effort to understand the question. This will also give you a few extra seconds to mull over your answer. If you are still unclear, don't be afraid to ask for further clarity.
2. Have an inquiring mind
Follow up questions are key. They show you are engaged and interested in learning more. To further this notion, jot down notes in a notebook to show the interviewer that this is valued information. It will also benefit you later to have these notes when you're making a decision about the job. Active listening is better received than just passive nodding or verbal agreement.
3. Get your interviewer to talk about themselves
It's not a secret that people like talking about themselves. The same goes for an interviewer. When you are asked if you have any questions at the end, you can always start with career questions if your mind goes blank. This will give you the opportunity to remember the questions you wanted to ask on the interview and allows the interviewer to talk about something they enjoy. Ask them about their history with the company, their career path, or even what drew them to the company. They'll remember this part of the interview as a positive event.
4. Become a bookworm
This may seem out of the blue, but there is a connection between people who read more and those who can read other people's emotional states and intentions. If you read more literary fiction, you can make a connection with your interviewer and win them over.
5. Don't be a robot
You'll come off too rehearsed if you can't maintain a sense of ease during the entire interview. This is even more important if you get thrown a curveball. It's okay to pause and think about your answer, but keep a cool head instead of panicking. Thinking on your feet will be a big plus regardless of how perfect your answer is at the time. Sometimes an interviewer will try to fluster you on purpose to see your reaction to stressful situations. Don't let them see you blink.
6. Form common ground
This one requires a bit of research. Before the interview, search the internet for some facts about your interviewer. You may share some common ground like an alma mater, a colleague, a hobby, or even friends. Go in with a way to bond with your interviewer. If you find nothing online, scan their office for details. Do they have children too? Use that as a way to forge conversation and form a memory.
7. Come off as friendly
The easiest way to deliver a friendly demeanor is a smile. Don't rely on humor because that can become subjective and may hurt you more than harm you. A smile can get your point across without harm. This will lighten up the conversation and add some warmth to your interview. Let these smiles happen naturally though because you don't want to come off as fake.
8. Be strategic in your answers
Do not drone on and on when you answer a question. It will need to be planned ahead of time to be concise and make sense. If you're going to tell a story, make sure it has a point and a clear beginning and ending. Be mindful of your audience while you speak. Look out for non-verbal cues that your story needs clarification or enhancement. Is a particular part very interesting to your interviewer? If so, expand. Your interviewer will have body language that you can be aware of during the interview.
9. Mirror their actions
Speaking of body language, copy the interviewer's actions. By adjusting your tone of voice, posture, manner of speaking, and body language, you can send a subconscious signal to your interviewer that you will fit in at the company. This is something you won't be able to prepare for ahead of time, but keep alert during the interview for anything that you can mirror. Don't overdo it though to the point where you are mocking them. Keep it subtle and still keep true to yourself.
10. Wow them with what you've done
Let your experience shine through in your interview. Any chance you have to show off times where you've actually proved your value or used your skills on your resume, use it. Some candidates can be all talk, but the ones that really stand out are the ones that can back up their talk with specific experiences. Any interviewer will be impressed with a candidate who is capable of repeating success.
Keep Dazzling Your Interviewers
Don't just waste these tips in one interview. Make sure you keep using them to fine-tune your skills. You'll have plenty of options if you can successfully apply these tips to each of your interviews. If you want to keep exploring your options, you can apply to some of our jobs. We would love to find you the best job out there for you.