I hope everybody had a productive week!
If you're reading this for the first time and would like any advice/help on interviewing or are interested in some of the jobs that i've posted, please feel free to connect with me on linked in by clicking Here, or you can email me - firstname.lastname@example.org , always happy to help anyway I can.
Last week we discussed an overview of the 6 steps of the first interview, I hope my story helped everyone get a feel for what happened because we all go through situations like that, especially when we're looking for the right career.
This week, I'm going to break down Steps 1 & 2 (1. exchanging resumes/business cards and 2. building a rapport with the manager) of the first initial interview with the manager as well as interviewing with Confidence and why "Buzz Words" on a resume are important, even in the first 2 steps.
In any interview, you're judged as soon as you walk through the door for the first time, so it's crucial you look the part and more importantly, act the part because your first impression could have a lasting impact on the manager and anyone else you meet with that day. the first 5 minutes are vital to the overall interview process let alone the first interview.
The first interview is always going to be a little awkward, if you're on site or at an office location you're going to have eyes watching, ears listening, and current employees talking, judging, wondering, and questioning who you are and what your purpose is for the company.
To start off, I always encourage candidates to bring at least 3 copies of a clean resume with multiple sales rankings/numbers/achievements on it (I'm using the sales field as an example but this applies to any industry).
Why 3 copies? well it's simple, if the candidate brings only 1 for the manager, you're not going to have a copy for yourself to go through with the manager and they're going to think you're unprepared or lost if you say something wrong or are lost as they go through it with you (this happens more than you think with candidates) and if you bring 2 copies, you and the manager will have one, but if he calls in another manager or a rep to meet with you then they're going to be sharing which is never good, it's uncomfortable and if blame gets put on you then it's not a good sign and also looks like you're unprepared, that's why I always encourage candidates to bring a minimum of 3 copies of a resume to an interview, and if you can, bring them in a nice leather folder, after all, you wouldn't walk into a closing meeting bringing documents into a paper folder from a supply store, the same rules apply to the interview.
Building A rapport with the interviewer is crucial to any interview. the same rules apply in the interview process just as they do in the sales cycle with customers, people buy from people they like/trust. A manager will hire a candidate if they like them and see the potential in them.
Is that true? To a certain degree it is. Of course, qualifications/experience always come into play, especially for jobs with bigger roles, but if the manager sees unlimited potential in your personality/energy/attitude, then they know they can coach you into the type of employee they want you to be, and a lot of that comes from building a rapport and interviewing with confidence.
As soon as the resume is in the hands of your potential employer, the manager is going to want to get to know you, and find out besides your employment history/qualifications, what else you can bring to the organization.
Like we discussed last week, any good first interview will last around 90 minutes, and building a rapport takes a good 20-30 minutes if it's done right and professionally. I always encourage candidates to do their homework on the manager before they go into the interview for a few basic reasons.
- It will keep you calm and collected before you transition into the intense questioning about the company/job responsibilities/product knowledge, etc during the interview.
- the manager will get to see your human side and how you interact when you're being put on the spot.
- It shows that you have the ability to build a rapport if needed which is crucial, especially for all the sales reps out there that walk in cold to appointments or cold-call over the phone.
What's also important is finding something in common with the manager or person that's interviewing. Looking at someone's linked-in profile/social media page and seeing what their background is can give you a whole laundry list of items to build a rapport with, remember, all it takes is one topic of discussion or question to get you off the ground.
I like to think of the term "Buzz Words" (words or phrases that will jump out on your resume) and how it can apply to every stage with the manager/interviewer. For example, the person you're interviewing with could've looked at your resume and saw that you both attended the same college or were both student-athletes, or had previously been a part of the same extracurricular activity you were a part of and it could've helped develop him into the position he/she is in now, right away it establishes credibility and a common ground as the interview starts, and managers enjoy talking about themselves and how they got established, especially to someone that they have something in common with.
More importantly, it jump-starts your conversation with the manager and helps you establish a common ground, which should help you transition into the next stage of the interview process - Knowing about the company you're interviewing for. Have a great week everyone! - DB
"Success is the progressive realization of a worthy idea"
- Earl Nightengale