With the job market as competitive as ever, companies hiring for even entry-level positions are closely screening all applicants and interviewees. As a supervisor, I gauge a lot of my final hiring decision on a few points – and my first impression. Investing valuable time training a successful candidate, as well as, wages paid and income loss to bring in a new team member, or replace an underperforming one; best case scenario is to avoid it altogether. To do this, you have to hire for skill and hire smart. These five key pointers can help you when applying for any position, and can turn a good interview into a great one.
Be on Time.
If you are unfamiliar with your interview location, get there early. The moment that you are late for an interview, that is a lasting impression you are going to impress upon your potential new employer. Anytime a prospective new hire is late for an interview without a call ahead of time with an explanation, it is cause for a decision to be made before you walk through the door.
Do your research.
When your prospective new employer's asks 'What do you know about our company?' 'What makes you wish to become …' these are open-ended questions which involve thought, execution, and get you talking. Your responses will tell me whether or not you did your homework and really desire to become a new team member, instead of just 'shopping' for the next opportunity to open its door. Spend some time reviewing the company's website – this shows effort.
As cliché as it may be, the way that you look says a lot about you. Whether you are applying as a cleaner, or as a customer service representative you can never be too well dressed. Being the best dressed leaves a lasting positive impression. Wearing sweatpants with the words 'juicy' along the backside tells me you may as well have stayed home.
Confidence is key.
Even knowing little about a field, or wanting to try something new, there is a lot to be valued in having confidence. If you are confident in yourself, you are more likely to engage comfortably in casual conversation. You learn more about a person in casual conversation than physiologically based questions which try to find out what fruit you'd like to be or your goals 10 years from today.
Last, of all – Relax!
I cannot stress this enough. I have seen many intelligent and articulate individuals get the equivalent of stage fright when they sit down for an interview. If you are nervous, do not try to stammer out the first reply that comes to your head. Do not let the silence put you off your game, either. Take a breath, count to three, and say the first thing that comes to mind. It may not be the answer your employer is looking for, but they are not interested in hearing what you have rehearsed off of the latest 'interviews 101' blog. Myself, I'd like a genuine response. Saying nothing, 'I don't know', or 'umm' is only steering your potential employer away. Your individuality is interesting, embrace it and the worst-case scenario you may not be what they are looking for. That is not a bad thing, sometimes being a bad fit means the employer also knows that this is not the job for you. If you relax and be yourself, the right employer will choose you.
Mainstreet Equity Corp. is a publicly-traded (TSX: MEQ) residential real estate company in Canada. Mainstreet currently owns and operates properties in Surrey, BC; New Westminster, BC; Abbotsford, BC; Calgary, AB; Cochrane, AB; Lethbridge, AB; Edmonton, AB; Fort Saskatchewan, AB; and Saskatoon, SK.
Mainstreet provides affordable, renovated apartment suites to Canadians, and is committed to creating real value without diluting shareholder interests.