You’re on the job hunt, and you’ve been called-in for an interview. Congratulations! You’ve just cleared the first hurdle to landing a great position.
The next hurdle will be even bigger: the interview. With the job market being what it is, everyone is looking for tips to make a great impression at their interview. It is not unusual for employers to interview dozens of candidates for a single position. Many will be as experienced and qualified as you, and some will be better qualified. To get hired, you will need to stand out from the pack.
Chances are, you’ve already heard some tips to ace your interview, like:
- Dress for success
- Research the employer and interviewer
- Prepare responses to common interview questions
- Be enthusiastic, confident and concise
- Ask intelligent questions
- Answer questions with the employer’s needs in mind
- Follow-up after the interview
These are solid tips, and you should definitely do them! However, it’s likely that nearly every other applicant has also heard this advice. While these things remain important, they won’t give you a leg up over your competition; nowadays, things like post-interview follow-ups are more or less expected. Aside from being the most qualified, how can you set yourself apart from all the other applicants?
By showing some personality!
Hiring is done by humans with emotions. They aren’t machines that simply assess your qualifications. Feelings matter in their decision-making. Fortunately, you can engender positive feelings towards you.
Applicants often focus solely on their qualifications for the job, their hardworking nature, their understanding of the employer’s business, etc. While these remain important, whether or not you get the job can come down to whether the interviewer likes you. By acting human, you can build a real relationship with the person interviewing you, giving you a major leg up on your competition.
The most qualified applicant is not always the one who gets hired. Assuming you possess the necessary basic qualifications, a personal connection can convince the interviewer look past your credentials. Thus, you should present yourself as more than just a professional, but also as someone likeable, who the interviewer will feel comfortable around and will want to associate with.
Now for the best part: the most effective way to create such rapport is to be yourself! Candidates often try to downplay their personalities in interviews in order to appear more professional or, worse, try to impress the interviewer by giving what they hope to be perfect answers. Unfortunately, this usually backfires. Candidates who act naturally are the most successful at coming across as likeable and genuine, which is what gets you remembered.
Feelings aren’t logical. By showing some personality, you can build rapport and genuinely connect with the interviewer. This can create positive associations with your name, which is crucial when it comes up later on among a list of other qualified applicants. Not only will this positive association create an emotional response that will give you a significant leg up over the competition, but you get to be yourself while doing it.
Please be advised that the information in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice on any subject matter. As with all legal issues, we recommend you consult your lawyer. Accordingly, ZSA Legal Recruitment Limited will bear no liability to the reader, in any form. There are no representations or warranties made as to the accuracy or substantive adequacy of any information provided in this article.