Even though the unemployment rate is at an 18-year low, that doesn’t mean that employers are hiring without scrutiny simply to fill positions. Candidates still need to bring their best in an interview to rise above the other candidates and make sure they’re memorable to employers.
Do more than establish rapport in the interview.
Use your network to make connections within the company well before your first interview. After you’ve made a list of the companies you want to work for, use your network (LinkedIn, past colleagues, friends, etc.) to see if you have a link to those businesses. Ask for introductions, make connections and learn more about the company. This will help establish a deeper level of rapport during the interview and add insight into the company you may not find by researching on your own or with a staffing and search agency.
Go beyond simply researching the company and knowing the position requirements.
While researching the company and position is a must-do to ensure you’re asking relevant questions, you can take this a step further by preparing statements, or answers to questions, that directly connect your experience with the company and the position. Think about initiatives you’ve been a part of at another job and how they might relate to things this company is doing or currently going through. Or you can match your skill set to support a business situation or job requirement in a way the recruiter may not have thought of previously.
Practice will help you feel more comfortable in an interview situation. You’ll be more at ease with your body language, your responses to questions and even what you’re wearing. Ask a friend or family member to sit down with you and play the role of the interviewer, or work with a search and staffing firm to help you find opportunities and prepare for them. While you won’t be able to anticipate every question an interviewer will ask, you can do some research to find common interview questions and customize them for the opportunity.
It doesn’t matter what the jobs data shows. Candidates should always assume the competition is fierce and go above and beyond to prepare for every opportunity.
The Lee Group matches the best employers with the best employees and can help in your job search and interview preparation. We also pride ourselves in helping our employer clients find the best candidates for their open positions. For more information, contact any of us here at The Lee Group.