The interview process can be incredibly daunting. With so many factors, including the perfect resume and cover letter, talking points, and an outfit, it is easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus.
But, the most frightening aspect is what the interviewer is thinking of you. During this process, you feel completely on display and it is up to the interviewer whether you move forward or not.
I reached out to a human resources director, Nicole Clark, who helped shed some light on what interviewers look for during the process. She went into detail about what is impressive, as well as what won’t get you to the next phase of the process.
“I look for the interviewees to have strong communication skills, as all of our candidates will be in client facing roles and need to have the ability to interact with others both internally and externally,” Clark said. She explained that communication skills are key, especially awareness of what you are communicating.
Why do you want to work here?
She states it is important for candidates to thoughtfully explain why they applied for the position and why they want to work at that specific company. This demonstrates the level of seriousness the interviewee has about the position, and also helps answer if they fit the company’s culture.
“It stands out when a candidate has an understanding of how the company operates and how they feel they can fit the role that they are interviewing for,” Clark said. Because of this, she urges interviewers to give the candidate an accurate and realistic description of the workplace environment.
Be thoughtful and insightful
During the interview itself, Clark states giving thoughtful and knowledgeable answers goes a long way. Giving a generic “I’m a team player” response will likely not get you a second interview. “It shows both initiative and gives insight into their thought process when they take the time to process the question and provide a thoughtful answer.”
As for what candidates should not do, Clark says that it is unimpressive when an interviewee is not dressed properly, is late, or unprepared. In addition, it does not bode well if the only questions the candidate asks have to do with salary and benefits. She states that while these topics are important, they should be discussed at the right stage in the process.
While there are many things to keep in mind while being interviewed for a job, Clark says that one of the most important things is to be yourself. “It is easy to try to mold yourself to fit the position and try to answer questions in a way that will impress that specific interviewer, but it is important to remember that if you receive the position, you will need to be yourself on a daily basis.”