We’ve all been there – looking for a job and preparing for interviews. It can be a nerve-racking experience. You know that you have to dress your best and be on time, but have you ever wondered what exactly it is that employers are looking for once you sit down for your interview? How should you approach the interview to make the best possible impression? There are some qualities that interviewers look for in candidates that aren’t contained in any resume.
Here are five important things that interviewers want to see in a potential employee:
- Be prepared. The interview process really starts long before you sit down face-to-face. You need to do your homework about the company with whom you are interviewing. It’s easy to look at the company’s website to become familiar with their goals and values, so you can mention something about it in the interview. The person interviewing wants to know that you are interested enough in the position to have done some research. Having some knowledge of the company will demonstrate that you care about the company.
- Be honest. Interviewers are looking for candidates who answer questions directly and honestly—this includes questions about drug use. It may not seem like it’s any of their business, but it is—especially when it comes to jobs where drug testing is mandated by DOT. Listen carefully to the question, and be sure that you answer what is being asked. Being nervous makes it easy to go off tangent or to ramble a bit, so the key is to stay focused on the question and make your answer specific and truthful. Remember that silence while you are thinking about how to answer a question is better than hemming and hawing or not answering the question specifically and thoroughly.
- Be yourself. This is important because interviewers want to know what they will get if they hire you. Keeping the interview real and conversational says more about who you are than any slick presentation can. So it’s alright if you are nervous when you get there, but be sure to let your personality show, that’s the best way for your interviewer to know if you will be a good fit for the company’s team.
- Be enthusiastic. Showing the interviewer that you are excited about the possibility of working for their company is a plus. You don’t have to overdo it (remember the previous tip and be yourself), but conveying that you are eager to be a part of the team speaks volumes. You can do this with your body language, voice and vocabulary. Smiling works wonders.
- Be confident. Come into the interview knowing what your strengths are and what you have to offer the company. Make eye contact throughout the interview – that shows that you are confident in what you bring to the table. Know what is on your resume, and how it is relevant to the position you are interviewing for. Also, keep in mind that the interviewer wants to hear about your accomplishments; don’t be shy about tooting your own horn.
Interviews tend to be some of the most anxiety-inducing situations for many people. However, if you keep these points in mind, go in relaxed and prepared, you can make the whole interview process much more comfortable for you and the interviewer.