It is the day of the interview. You are professionally dressed. You have done your research. You have practiced answering interview questions and you have your questions written down that you want to ask the employer. You are all set! Your main goal is to get this job. Not exactly…..your main goal should be to get them to LIKE you. If an employer really likes you, they will “find” something for you to do. Even if they select someone else for the particular position you are interviewing for, they will contact you about doing something else within the company.
A few years ago I applied for a position as an Administrative Assistant for the Executive Vice President of a company. On the day of the interview the Exec. VP was running late so he had another manager start the interview. About 10 minutes into the interview he came in and observed me as the manager continued to ask me questions. When he finally spoke the first thing he said was, “I can tell by your demeanor, your resume, and how you are responding to these questions that you could be doing a lot more for our company than the job you applied for.” Wow…talk about shocked!! He proceeded to tell me about the other openings they had available and asked what area I would be interested in. I picked Career Services and he had the Regional Director of Career Services, who just so happened to be at the corporate office that day, interview me right on the spot! I got the job and begin coaching others on how to be successful in their careers.
Now, I will be honest and say I didn’t go into the interview with any expectation other than to answer some questions and maybe get the job as an Administrative Assistant. But, I now know the power of getting them to LIKE you. Had I not taken the interview seriously and not been professional and given it my all, I would not have impressed the Exec. VP and consequently would not have found my passion.
So, for your next interview THINK BIG….don’t just focus on getting the particular job you applied for. Go in with the mindset that they need you at their company and you are going to show them why. Here’s how you get them to LIKE you:
1. Be nice to everyone you meet. On the day of the interview be nice and professional with everyone you come in contact with. DO NOT underestimate the receptionist!
2. Make the best of the situation and be enthusiastic. Even if you find that the job might not be a good fit for you still be professional and answer the questions the best you can.
3. Show them who you really are. Chances are you have many skills that would be useful in several positions in the company. Be sure to convey that to the employer.
4. Show interest. Asking questions and taking notes is a great way to show your interest in the job and the company. Don’t forget to do your research beforehand.
5. Solve a problem for them. Ask what some of the challenges are that they are currently facing and offer a solution to the problem right on the spot. If you can do this, you are a genius!
6. Follow up. Follow up with EVERYONE you interviewed with. Thank them individually for the opportunity and send them additional information about you – recommendation letters, video resume, LinkedIn profile, personal website, blog, etc. This will keep you on their mind.