So you got the interview……. what do you do now??
What do you need to know??
For many older workers, (including you), heading for an interview at your potentially new company can be extremely daunting.
It can feel like you're not alone in the room. You’re with the perfect candidate. One who is hardworking, knowledgeable, experienced and a perfect fit for the job… and they are a half your age!
So many other candidates will simply be overcome and discouraged by the situation and completely go on a voyage of self destruction!
This so called younger person, who has all the attributes the employer is looking for, will just simply nail the interview.
So…why am I here?
I've got no chance!
OR…be the person they want…
To avoid this self sabotage, you need to present yourself as the optimal combination of what your new employer is looking for – energetic, life learner, who knows the industry, is tech savvy and has immediate rapport with all age groups in the office and job situation.
Avoiding this self sabotage, (the combination of fear and ego), means you need to present to the interview after realistically evaluating just where you stand in the job market.
Feel good attitude…
“THE” most important ingredient in your “cake mix of success” has to be your feel good attitude about who you are and what you have to offer.
This would be a result of you doing a complete self assessment and job assessment to know and appreciate your professional working environment.
Again…do your research…
Remember, you must do your research.
Know the company’s needs.
Package your experience, skills etc. in such a way that will maximize your value to the company.
What NOT to say…!!
Please DO NOT SAY: “I've done this job before so I won't need training. You won't have to tell me what to do…”
So, do your homework – because interviews have now become tougher and their formats are often quite diverse.
You need to be prepared.
It is critical you know exactly the situation you will find yourself in before your big day.
Inevitably, when you attend your interview, the interviewer could be close and probably will be half your age, which could be unnerving to say the least!
Make sure they are and you're not!
You need to immediately identify and emphasize what you have in common with the interviewer.
You know it's not going to be your age. So, start with professional challenges that you've both faced.
This is a great starting point to break the ice and let everyone become more familiar and relaxed.
Whilst you must be “yourself”, it is important to be like them.
To speak their language, you have to display your knowledge through the language of your occupation.
If your job uses jargon and you both know the jargon, use it to effect… not to make a point.
Do your homework…
Every prospective employer will have a website.
This is common business practice and marketing necessity. Use it…!!
You need to conduct deep research for relevant job related information, the company, the industry and even the interviewer if there is a “ Who's who” section on the website.
The website can provide you with great background information, as well as arming you with company news and achievements, annual reports, where they are heading and why/how, company philosophy etc.
If there is information about your interviewer, learn as much as you can.
Research has shown this can be one of the most vital pieces of information you can take into your interview.
But, don't just check out their website, drill down even further with your research.
Check trade journals for any information or news.
Look into trade directories which can provide you with a list of some very specific questions regarding your future employer and your potential role there.
And of course there is good old Google.
It seems to always be able to provide you with a couple of real gems that were missing from the trade and industry journals.
Interview tips…and dress the part…
So, here’s some great tips and rules you need to follow to maximize your interview chances:-
As I have previously stated and cannot emphasise enough… you must do your research.
- Look really sharp.
Dress to impress, not overkill.
Remember, not all companies today insist on wearing suits, shirts and ties.
It is imperative that you know the expected dress code for your interview.
You don't want to stand out as if you dressed for a formal and at the same time it's an interview not a Sunday barbecue.
- Be prepared…
Always take an extra copy of your resume and any other supporting information they may need to support your interview. References, training certifications, qualifications etc
Also, being prepared means always having questions to ask at the end of the interview.
It shows you really are keen to know more.
Invariably the interviewer will ask you do you have any questions.?
Make sure you do.
Make sure they are relevant, well thought out, fit the mood and make sure you get an answer.
- Always be on time…
In fact, always be early!!
It's self evident you’re being late means:-
- You are disorganized.
- You are not that interested in the job being offered.
- It's OK to be late!!
- Be enthusiastic –
A firm handshake and immediate eye contact is important and shows confidence.
Speak confidently, clearly and remember to always…slow your delivery down.
It is not a race call!!.
You need them to understand everything you say and not ask you to repeat it.
- Don't talk too much!
Don't let your enthusiasm talk you out of a job
Telling the interviewer more than they need to know can be absolutely fatal.
Rambling on normally means you are unprepared and can lead to a lost job opportunity.
- Don't be too familiar…
Remember it's a business meeting, not a friendly chat between a couple of friends.
It's a great rule to “mirror”
Mimic the demeanor of the interviewer.
You become them…and they like that.
- Speaking of speaking…
Remember to use appropriate language.
Again, remember the interview is a professional business meeting…treat it accordingly.
This is where you don't mimic your interviewer.
If they use certain words, it doesn't give you licence to do the same, it may be a test.
Think before you speak!
- Listen! You have two ears and one mouth use them accordingly.
This is probably the most neglected interview skill.
You are pent up, excited, nervous and you want to tell them everything that you hope will enhance your chances, but, you need to use the old public speaking adage
- stand up
- speak up
- shut up
and when you are “listening”, read between the lines.
Sometimes it's what is not said that's just as important as what is…!
- Don't be cocky. Be confident. Not cocky!
Your attitude plays a vital role in your interview success.
There is a very fine balance between confidence, professionalism, and modesty.
In nearly all situations, putting on a performance to demonstrate your ability can be far worse than being reserved and (maybe), modest.
- Answer the questions…
When you are asked for an example of a time you did something, the interviewer is asking a “ “behavioral” interview question.
These types of questions are designed to get a sample of your past behaviour.
What you did and why.
If you don't answer this question, you miss a golden opportunity to prove your ability and to talk about your skills.
- Give specific examples…
Again, this is where your research and preparation is important.
Think about the job you are presenting for, the type of role, job specifications and then examples of times when you’ve achieved, the circumstances, the results and interaction with your peers etc.
It is important, if you can, to put figures behind your example – what you can bring to the company and what your specific example will mean to them and your job opportunity.
- Ask questions…
When you are given the opportunity to ask questions, and you will – make sure you do…!
Again you need to prepare a number of relevant questions relating to the company's future goals, your job responsibilities, accountabilities, expectations etc.
Absolutely do not say, NO I don't have any questions at this time!
This shows you are either haven't prepared for don't care.
By asking questions, you can make sure the job and the company is the right place for you.
The best questions come as a result of listening and maybe taking notes during your interview.
- Follow up…
Whether you do it by phone, normal mail or email, you must follow up the interview.
It's another chance to remind your interviewer of all of your valuable traits.
Those that will be put to good use when you start work with their company.
15. But… do not do not appear to be desperate!
When you follow up, do so in a professional manner.
Do not say or give the impression that you absolutely need or want this job!
It's always good to have the famous three C’s…
These, plus your preparation will absolutely make for your success.
Good luck…You don't need it.
You're an absolute certainty!!
Last, but by no means least…
To look at ways to supplement and eventually replace your income through internet marketing and an entirely new way to earn a full time income in your retirement…
Follow this link:
Make every day your best day ever…!