Honestly, there is too much advice online on how to nail a job interview. The internet is flooded with ideas, theories and hunches that are either too obvious to be worth reading about, or directly copied from other articles. Now and again websites try to convince you to use strategies generated from the vague, lucky ideas that one guy who got one job once said were the reasons why he got that kind-of-dream job at that kind-of-cool company.
The truth is that nearly all interview advice can be reduced to ‘Prepare well, know the interview company’s values and culture, try your best to fit the part in speech, style and story, and sell yourself as familiar but also distinctly memorable in some way.’ That’s it.
The tricky part is how to be familiar enough to be naturally trustworthy and believable to an interviewer, and also stand out as remarkable enough to remember from a crowd of applicants. Only you can develop this balance for your own pitch. There is one simple guiding philosophy that should define your interview strategy...
Three great job-getting hacks:
1. 91% of employers check your social media to be sure that you are legit. Apps like Clear App and Rep’nUp check your social media for dodgy language and ‘indicators of frat houses etc’. They allow you to review and clean up your online reputation, and prevent any company from finding something so worrying that they don’t hire you.
2. Drench yourself in the company’s social media! Businesses reveal who they are, who they want to be, and what they want their audience and reputation to be through FB, IG, TW and SC. There is no better way to figure out what a company is looking for in a client and a workforce. The tone, attitude and interests of a business on social media should closely reflect the style and interests of an interviewer representing that company.
3. Dressing simply and conservatively is a good idea, because it is easier to wear quiet clothing that does not offend someone’s style preferences than to go bold and potentially get unlucky. BUT try to find a way to communicate something memorable about your identity at the same time. Drab dress is not exciting or distinct. It’s plain and unremarkable. This leads perfectly into one excellent approach to interviews that ought define how you present yourself.
Nearly every interviewer will ask you to tell the story of who you are. They will ask you what your greatest weakness is. They will ask you what you think of their company. You can prepare flawless, rehearsed answers for all of these, but the most critical part of your responses is to be as genuine, warm, and authentic to your own personality as possible.
The reality is that most employers will hire the person they believe they know, rather than perfect robot interviewees who is are well-rehearsed that they seem like actors faking a persona. Employers want to think that they know who you will be every day, and that they will want to have dinner with you when work is done.
Many interviewers actively consider this element now. The airport test is a common example of how they gauge your likability. Immediately after the interview, the employer asks themselves ‘If I was stuck in an airport for three days with this person, would I want to see them ever again after we escape?’ That’s something you need to actively consider in how you act in interviews. Ultimately, tons of people have great rehearsed answers to back up stellar CVs. Your success depends on whether the company wants to see you again. Now go get a job, and send your kids to iX.