Who Wins The Job Interview?

July 22, 20150 Comments

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Are you ever curious about why some people get hired over others? Me too. Luckily I have a sneaky way to find answers to these kinds of questions. I ask them in plain view of the world! Last month, as I was filling in as the morning drive talk radio host on Denver’s 710AM – KNUS, I decided to take my curiosity public. I booked an interview with a woman named Amanda Augustine. She is a top-tier career counselor from a company called The Ladders.

Her daily mission is to help connect you with your next best job – at any stage of your life. I wanted to see if there was a formula anyone could use to “land the job” over the competition. My first question for Amanda was simple.

ROSS: Three candidates are vying for the same job. Their skill levels and experience are pretty much equal. Are there any tips or tricks people should know to make sure they are the one who gets hired?

AMANDA: Yes! Skills can be taught. Experience can be gained. But the person who gets hired will likely be the person the company thinks would be a good “fit” for their organization’s culture.

ROSS: What do companies consider a cultural “fit?”

AMANDA: Every organization has a personality – a vibe – and companies want to hire nice people they think will “get” them…and be fun to work with.

No brainer, right? If you had a choice wouldn’t you rather work alongside people who thought and acted like you? People who share your same work ethic?People who make you think…make you laugh? So rule #1 is be pleasant and easy to like.

But there’s more. Here are a few little known tips Amanda likes for scoringhigh in the interview.

1. Do your research about the company.  When you’ve set up an interview, go to the social networks to see what people are saying about this organization. Read their Wikipedia page to learn their history, their ups and downs, and any proud acquisition moments. You should go into the interview as an expert on this company. Ah, but it is also important for you to know that your interviewer has done research on you. According to www.jobsite.com, over 92% of all employers will monitor your social networks to see if you are engaging in online arguments – or posting unflattering pictures of yourself drunk or half naked.

2. Wake up the day of the interview and behave like a model citizen. Be nice to everyone. Smile and listen when you pass people. If you are being taken to the interview by a corporate shuttle…keep in mind that you’re probably being watched by your driver. It is likely that he/she is being paid to evaluate your behaviorand language while in the vehicle.

3. When you walk into the building, the receptionist isn’t just taking calls. He or she is the “Director of First Impressions” so make your first impression is a friendly, engaged one. He or she will talk about you to others.

4. Once in the interview, make it your mission to ask at least three questions. Getting the job is a two-way street so be participative. Ask things like, “What should I know about this company that I can’t find online?” “What types of people thrive in their positions here?” “I think I have a good idea about what this job requires but are there other duties or responsibilities that weren’t outlined in the job listing?” Ask questions that start with, “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” “How,” and “Please describe.” Open-ended questions like that get the interviewer chatting. Chatting, exchanging opinions, and laughing help develop rapport. Asking questions demonstrate that you are taking initiative to learn things beyond the obvious.

While interviews may be stressful, there is good news in all of this. What might startle you is that you are probably worth more money than you are currently being paid. The Ladders has a page on their website called,The High Demand Heat Map which will show you the location and salaries of thousands of jobs in your preferred job category.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you are underpricing your talents and that someone else out there might fight to hire you?

Ross Shafer is the author of six business books and is a popular keynote speaker to Fortune 1000 companies. His newest book, ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY – Bulletproof Tactics for Putting Yourself in High Demand is a must read for anyone who desires to rise faster than the competition. Ross is also an Emmy winner for his work as a comedian, talk show host, and writer. Learn more about Ross at:  www.RossShafer.com

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