By Lon Matejczyk
Job seekers don’t have much time to win over hiring managers.
Sixty percent of HR managers polled by Accountemps said they form a positive or negative opinion of candidates during interviews in 10 minutes or less.
For some, impressions are made even more quickly.
Nearly one in five (18 percent) respondents indicated it takes them five minutes or less to draw conclusions about an interviewee.
Wow. So, what can you do to get the job interview off to a good start? Here are a few tips
Pay attention to the details. Extend a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and present a professional image. This includes ensuring your shoes are shined, clothing is pressed, and nails are clean and trimmed.
Ace the likely questions. Make sure you know how you will respond to predictable questions, such as, “Can you tell me a little about yourself?” Research the firm before your interview and tap your network for their insights to enable you to couch your answers in the context of how you can help the company.
Don’t be cocky. Strike the right balance between presenting your accomplishments in a positive light and coming across as overly confident. Being arrogant is one of the worst mistakes a candidate can make.
Tell memorable stories. Give specific examples of how and why you’ve been successful. You’ll make a positive impression on hiring managers by sharing interesting anecdotes about how you solved a tough business problem or saved an employer money.
Be yourself. Avoid coming across as overly rehearsed. Interviewers want to get a sense of your personality and how you would fit into the office culture.
About the Author
Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group. Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.