First impressions are infinitely valuable. As much as we like to think that we embody the words our second grade teachers told us (“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”), we all do. It’s human nature. It’s proven that humans form their initial impressions and perceptions of others within the first few seconds of interacting.
This poses an interesting quandary: do we simply fold under the difficulty of creating a good impression, or do we take the challenge with open arms and master the craft of creating a good impression?
The most important element in meeting any challenge is the right set of tools. If you want to chop down a tree, you need an axe. If you want to hit a ball, you need a bat. If you want to make a good impression in an interview, you need a good elevator pitch.
Mastering the elevator pitch is a challenge in and of itself. It’s having to answer “What do you do?” in a matter of seconds. It’s having to validate yourself as worth someone else’s time. Think about being in an interview and having the interviewer say, “Tell me a little about yourself.” Responding to this is more difficult than it seems. What qualifies as “a little”? What do they want to hear? The elevator pitch solves this conundrum and offers a means of conveying yourself in a positive light.
The elevator pitch draws its name from the following situation: you happen to encounter someone in the elevator whom you’ve been wanting to interact with for quite some time – it could be an executive at your company, or simply someone who would be a vital member of your professional network. These thirty seconds that you have in the elevator with this person are your golden opportunity to impress and make your strong first impression. By making the most of the small amount of time you have with them, you increase your chances of the person making more time for you. The same principles in the elevator apply in the first thirty seconds of a job interview. You’re probably going to be asked to paint a more realistic image of yourself than your resume provides. This is your pitch, and it establishes a strong foundation for the interview to build on.
Before getting into the particulars of a good elevator pitch, keep in mind that despite its name, the elevator pitch can happen anywhere. Regardless of where or how you come across a person you want to make a strong first impression with, break your encounter down into the following elements and I assure you your book cover will be enough to get the person to want to read more.
If you want someone to listen to you, wow them. Your “wow” needn’t be a whole production, but enough to grab their interest. In fact, it’s not unrealistic to think that merely going out of your way to introduce yourself will be enough of a wow factor. If you think that this is the case with the person you’re pursuing, you’re golden. If not, offer up something interesting. Share a little factoid. mention something in the news. Whatever you do, get them on the hook.
If you’re in a job interview, your wow factor will vary slightly. If you went to a particularly notable school, share it. If you’ve got something on your resume that you’re sure sets you apart, mention it. If you’re familiar with some of the work the company has done, discuss your admiration of it.
Once you’ve got the person on the hook, reel them in by offering a succinct but comprehensive introduction of who you are. Chances are the person is wondering who you are, so give them a little taste that will leave them wanting to know more.
Once you’ve started interacting with the person, they’re likely to have gone from wondering who you are to why you’re interesting in talking with them or in the position you’re applying for. And you should tell them. Be direct, and be honest; don’t sugarcoat the truth. Being clear as to why you’re talking to them or why you’re interviewing allows you to proceed to…
You have a purpose for talking to this person or interviewing with them and they know it. Make it clear, and inform them of what you want out of them or the position. A well constructed “what” element is essential for you to get to your…
A great elevator pitch is only going to have a duration of about thirty seconds, and it’s chock-full of information about you. Your bottom line is what’s going to resonate with the person you’re looking to leave an impression with. It should wrap up everything you’ve said and include your call to action: I’d love to speak more with you.
You don’t want to be overzealous in your pitch. You’re only providing the essential information about you and what you want as a means of grabbing their interest and making a lasting impression. It’s truly a difficult thing to do, but it’s masterable with practice. Take some time to write down a response to “Tell me a little about yourself.” It’s a great way to put yourself in perspective and will allow you to see yourself from someone else’s point of view.
The goal of any interaction should be to put your best self forward. This is especially true when you’re seeking to make a strong impression in an interview. You’re not going to use your elevator pitch every day, but you want to have it well-constructed so that when you do use it, it’s an enticing cover to the book of you.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on June 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm, and is filed under Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Going to an interview does not have to be the most stressful part of the job-hunting process! Because up to 93% of communication is non-verbal, it’s important to go into an interview with confidence and a great attitude. Any fear, anger or confusion you have about the interview or the job itself is going to show. Be prepared, and reduce your stress.
Choose a time that works for you
Don’t agree to an 8 a.m. interview if you’re not a morning person. The time an interviewer suggests isn’t the only time they can interview with you. If you like to have some time to unwind in the morning, set up an interview for a little later in the day. If you are a morning person, by all means, suggest a meeting early in the day.
Leave plenty of time to get ready
Make sure you set multiple alarms set so you don’t oversleep, and take some time to unwind and wake up before your appointment. You should arrive about 5 to 10 minutes early. You don’t want to be more than 10- 15 minutes early, or even more than one minute late.
It’s a good idea to set up everything you need the night before. Plan your outfit, iron your shirt, shine your shoes, do whatever you need to do to eliminate tasks from your list. You don’t want to waste a bunch of time in the morning updating your portfolio or looking for your keys – this will only add to your stress.
Be (over) prepared
Check out our recent article on how to be prepared for an interview, one of the best ways to relieve stress.
Do your research on the company, and be ready to ask and answer questions. Failing to do so will be apparent to your interviewer.
Remember: You are interviewing the company, too
Look at the interview as conversation. While it’s true that the employer brought you in to learn more about your background, this is also a chance for you to see if the company is a good fit. A job description can look great on paper, but if you go in to the interview and everyone you interact with is a jerk, it’s probably not somewhere you want to spend your time. Looking at an interview as a conversation can make you feel a little more powerful – the fate of your career is not solely in the interviewer’s hands.
Stick to just one cup of coffee or tea before you go in – any more can exacerbate stress levels. While you may not notice it on a regular day, in a stressful situation, anything you do to raise your heartbeat can have a negative effect. You don’t want to fall asleep, you just want to be relaxed and lucid.
Have something fun to look forward to
Having something fun planned when your interview is over can be a great way to relieve some stress, and even give you a better attitude about going in to the appointment. It’s hard work getting an interview, so reward yourself with something nice. If your interview ends up being a success, you’ll be able to go out for drinks with friends and brag about it. And if the interview is a dud, you’ll have something lined up to make you feel better.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on May 20, 2013 at 11:33 am, and is filed under Interview, To Do Before You Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
You should never leave an interview thinking, “I should have asked them that.”
Most people see an interview as the person behind the desk asking all the questions. The reality is, an interview is a meeting of people, with the prefix “inter” meaning mutually or between. If you’re not asking questions during your interview, you’ll feel as though you’re on the receiving end of a firing squad rather than hunting for a job. When you’re looking for a job, your interviewer shouldn’t be the only one asking questions.
If you don’t get a clear picture of your potential responsibilities, ask for more information. Just because you’ve held a similar position before doesn’t mean that the one you are interviewing for will be the same. Find out how frequently the position has changed hands. If it’s been very volatile, ask why. Ask them to give you an idea of the role that the particular department you’re interviewing for plays in the overall organization.
Just because a position looks great today doesn’t mean it will five years down the road. You never want to be stagnant in the business world, so inquire to see if the position fits nicely with your career aspirations. Does the firm encourage or even fund continued education? What have previous employees in the same position gone on to do? Will you be able to grow from within the firm, or is it a dead end? Be wary of any employees who can’t give you a clear role that the position plays in a career path, and look for a position that encourages growth.
Salary discussion usually doesn’t come until you have a job offer. That being said, don’t be afraid to ask what the range is for the position, and don’t shy away from smaller details about compensation. If the interviewer isn’t forward about it, ask about health and retirement plans. Does the company have health coverage? Do employees have access to a 401(k) plan? If bonuses are part of your compensation, what is the criteria? Are they performance based? The more you know about how compensation works before you are offered a position gives you a better perspective of how strong the offer is.
Lastly, be sure to gain some knowledge on how the company is doing and where it’s headed. Is the company living up to its mission? Is it meeting its revenue goals? How are business operations funded? If the answer to that question is venture capital and bank loans and the revenue goals aren’t being met, there’s a very good chance changes are brewing. Asking to review the firms business plan isn’t a bad idea if you’re applying for a senior position either. You’ll be able to compare what the firm wants to do and what it’s actually doing.
If you’ve been on the hunt for a job for a while it can be easy to jump at the first offer that comes your way. Look before you leap; don’t accept anything before you have a good feel for the company as a whole. Asking questions during your interview conveys your interest in the position and encourages the interviewer to believe that you’re dedicated and success-driven. Regardless of what your elementary school teacher told you, there are such things as stupid questions, but you can avoid asking them by going into an interview with a prepared set of questions designed to cover the bases that the interviewer doesn’t.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on March 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Interview, Interview With The Interviewer. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No one likes waiting, especially if you are waiting to hear whether you got the job or not. Maybe you thought the interview was going to be the most stressful part of the hiring process. But you are soon realizing that the time between the interview and when you find out if you are the right fit for the position is even more stressful. It almost feels like when you are waiting for a date to call you back- you start second guessing everything and then wondering if you should call or if there is anything else you could have done. Good news – it does not have to be like this at all. So just take a breath while we detail a step by step process on what to do after the interview is over.
Step 1: The thank you note
You need to send some sort of thank you note within 24 hours after the interview. This will keep you fresh in the interviewer’s mind, especially if he or she interviewed more than one candidate that day. Some companies appreciate the traditional hand-written letters the best. But most companies will be fine with an email. You have to feel the company out for yourself and decide which method would be most appropriate. Most experts believe you should send a three paragraph thank you note. It is supposed to read like a sales letter. The first paragraph should thank them for their time and reassert how interested you are in the position after hearing more about it. The second paragraph is where you should make specific references to the interview which will make the note more personal. You can also include some of your strengths here that will directly cater to the company. The last paragraph is where you can make any clarifications or ask any questions. Don’t let these paragraphs get too lengthy or you risk losing the interviewer’s attention.
Step 2: Wait
You should wait until the tentative date the interviewer said they will contact you during the interview before reaching out again. If the interviewer does not call you back within around three days of that date, feel free to call the company. Many people assume that if the company does not contact you immediately, that they did not get the job. The reality is that everyone gets busy and the aforementioned date may have slipped the interviewer’s mind. Therefore, you should feel comfortable calling the company and inquiring about the position. Don’t be aggressive or accusatory during this call; remain positive and interested in the position. If you have to leave a message and no one is calling you back, you can try again in a few days. If the company does not get back to you after multiple messages, it’s time move on. If this is the case, do not get discouraged.
As we said before this process is like dating, it sometimes takes a while to find a relationship that is right for both parties. Every interview you have is an experience that can help you grow as a candidate and narrow down what you really want in a job.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on February 18, 2013 at 9:27 am, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
It’s totally normal to be nervous before going into a job interview. That doesn’t mean you have to let your nerves take over the interview. The last thing you want to do is approach an interview as a “jitterbug”.
Here are 5 tips to start off your interview with a strong first impression:
- Research the company/ interviewer.
- Plan your interview outfit.
- De-stress by having a good laugh or listen to music.
- Prepare your questions for the interviewer.
- Practice answers to basic interview questions that may pop up.
Once you’re in the interview remember to take deep breaths to release some of that nervous energy. Don’t be afraid admit to the interviewer that you are feeling nervous if you start to see yourself stumbling over your words. It shows you’re human and it could end up having the interviewer relate to you. Try saying something along the lines of, “I apologize, I’m a little nervous” and then carry on with your conversation.
Don’t forget to bring several copies of your resume with you. Your resume is a great resource to turn to when talking about yourself/past work experiences if you get nervous. Also, printing out a copy of the job description to bring to the interview can prove to be beneficial.
Overall, the best strategy for handling your “interview nerves” is to prepare your questions and do your homework on the company before you arrive. Be sure to bring a copy of your resume, job description and questions for tools to turn to if you feel your nerves affecting your interview.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on December 28, 2012 at 9:23 am, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Writing a thank you letter after a job interview is a must. Whether your interview was in-person or over the phone you should send a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview. Step one is to leave an interview with the interviewer’s business card. If one is not handed to you then ask for it. If you have a phone email, ask to confirm the interviews contact information before the end of the call. You send this in one of two ways: email or snail mail. Use your judgment here. Hand written letters on stationary are a nice touch and recommended, but if you know the hiring process is moving quickly it is best to send a thank you letter via email.
Show you were listening and cover the basics. The thank you letter doesn’t have to be long, but it should be personal and hit on topics discussed during the interview. Be sure to re-emphasize your interest, reasons you are best suited for the job and how you can be contacted. If you go the route of a hand written note, you should send it immediately after sending a thank you email in the event the written note arrives late or gets lost.
It wouldn’t hurt to let them know you will be following up with them within a certain amount of time, i.e. one week. This way if you do not hear back from the potential employer, call or email them on the day you noted you would follow-up. When you reach out, re-introduce yourself and remind them of when you interviewed and for what position. Ask them if they have made a selection, and if not, when they plan too. Again, keep it short and thank them for their time.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on November 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
The question of whether or not companies are moving towards video interviews has been answered. More and more companies are conducting video interviews. According to a new survey conducted by OfficeTeam, 6 in 10 companies conduct job interviews via video. Now the question becomes, are you ready for them?
A video interview generally involves a candidate answering a series of pre-determined interview questions using a webcam to record their answers. There two common practices for video interviewing: one-way and two-way interviews.
One-way interviews pre-screen candidates by having them respond to pre-set questions without a recruiter on the other end. Two-way interviews are conducted using a video calling service, such as Skype. Candidates and recruiters interact as part of a two-way, live interactive interview process, which tend to be used later in the interview process.
Here are 10 tips to review when participating in video interviews:
- Test the technology
- Choose the right location
- Take a trial run
- Look at the camera, not the screen
- Dress appropriately
- Calm your nerves and exude confidence
- Speak loudly and clearly
- Think about timing
- Don’t let mistakes throw you off
- Treat is like a real interview, do your research
Video interviews are an excellent way to showcase you and your glowing personality. Research shows this is not a trend that will disappear in a few years so it’s best to get used to the idea and start practicing. You never know a company might make such a request.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on September 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm, and is filed under Interview, Interview With The Interviewer. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
The hot summer sun can present a challenge when going on interviews. Here are some summer interview tips and tricks we would like to leave you with for your upcoming interviews.
- Arrive to an interview 15-20 minutes early to cool off.
- Try Boscia Fresh Blotting Linens. They absorb excess oil and banish shine without disturbing your makeup. These are great to have in your bag so you arrive looking fresh with makeup in tact.
- Wear appropriate attire for summer interviews.
You can look professional and still stay cool when interviewing in the summer months. Be sure to still dress appropriately for the employer.
- Bring along a comb, cologne and deodorant along with the breath mints and your resume.
- If you wear a suit, throw the jacket over your arm or shoulder. It’s hot out – employers understand and you look professional without overheating.
- Ladies, for additional fun summer wardrobe suggestions visit here.
Most importantly, be prepared and do not let the heat distract you from what you from an amazing interview!
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on July 16, 2012 at 9:55 am, and is filed under Interview. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
While this may seem like an obvious statement, we have to reiterate how important it is to show you’re interested in the job you’re interviewing for. Do not assume that just because you applied and showed up on time for the interview that the hiring manager believes you’re extremely interested in the position.
Believe it or not, you may be interested before the interview and not so interested after meeting with the hiring manager. Also, you want to be sure that the hiring manager doesn’t mistake your nervousness for disinterest in the role.
How can you prevent a non-verbal miscommunication with the hiring manager?
- Make sure you show your gratitude and interest. “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. After learning more about the position, I am confident that it’s exactly what I’m looking for. I am very interested in the role.
- Take deep breaths and don’t let your nervousness override your integrity and personality.
- Make eye contact
- Firmly shake the hiring managers hand
- Express yourself. Don’t leave the interview without taking advantage of the opportunity to sell yourself. With confidence, express how, after hearing more about the various responsibilities of the position, you can be a successful candidate. Use specific examples if possible.
In reality, please and thank you are actually magic words. Say it like you mean it and let them know you’re interested. Hiring managers aren’t mid readers.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on May 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Interview, Interview With The Interviewer. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on May 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Human Resource, Interview, Interview With The Interviewer. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|