Having a rock-star resume will ensure you’re considered for job opportunities. But have you ever considered which factors matter the most throughout the interview process? A successful job search is the result of a holistic effort in presenting yourself in the best way possible – on paper and in person. Therefore, you must maximize your interview time to convey not only your technical qualifications but also your character, work ethic, and interpersonal skills.
Here are three steps you can take to sell yourself beyond your resume and make a solid first impression during your interviews:
Communicate politely and professionally.
Your verbal and nonverbal communication style can significantly impact your interview performance. It’s imperative you speak clearly and articulate your thoughts in a professional and respectful manner. This means not mumbling or speaking with gum in your mouth, as these types of behaviors make you appear disinterested and incompetent. From a nonverbal standpoint, always pay attention to your posture, make direct eye contact and shake the interviewer’s hand before and after the interview. Your body language and facial expressions can either complement or detract from your verbal communication, so be conscious of how you come off. Mastering positive verbal and nonverbal communication is key to presenting yourself as a professional who can work well with others.
Give a personal narrative.
Remember, employers aren’t just hiring an employee – they’re hiring a person with thoughts, feelings, and interests. Instead of being robotic in your interview answers, don’t be afraid to express some personal elements of yourself. For example, you may want to describe what past experiences have shaped your career goals for the future. Incorporating some personal insights during the interview is sure to resonate with the interviewer, helping them learn more about you beyond your resume and set you apart from other candidates.
You’re thankful you got an interview, right? Then show it! Always thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity to interview for the position. Expressing gratitude shows you’re truly interested in the position and are appreciative of being considered. In addition to verbally saying thank you, send the interviewer a thank-you note the next day. While a handwritten note is always most personal, a well-thought email will also suffice. Neglecting to show gratitude can cost you the job, so make this a priority no matter what!
Regardless of how pristine your resume may be, the factors above will always take precedence in the interview process. Being mindful of your communication and behavior is what will ultimately get you the job!
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