No matter how great your resume, how extensive your skills, how thorough your qualifications, if you don’t have that “know it when you see it” something special, you may not be able to convince the hiring manager that you’re the one.
Here are four traits you can work on showcasing in the interview process that just might get you the job.
Practice your playground 101
Scheduled for a lunch or coffee interview, rather than an appointment in the office? The hiring manager might be trying to suss out how well you play with others. Can you make small talk? Can you put people, including and especially yourself, at ease? Are you pleasant and personable? You may not realize how important people skills are, even for jobs that don’t require a lot of client or customer interface. Remember, your coworkers have to interact with you every day. Show them they won’t regret taking you on board! Politeness and self-awareness will go a long way here.
Don’t be shy
Don’t overdo it and come across as an overzealous lunatic, but do try and let your enthusiasm shine through. Love this kind of work? Have tons of passion? Be yourself and show how hungry you are to succeed. You might just have the kind of spark your hiring manager is searching for.
Think of the interview as your first assignment and do your homework. Learn everything you can about the company and the team you’d be working on, and go in with a few intelligent, insightful questions. This will be a great way to “show, not tell” the truth of that “hard worker” line in your cover letter. Also have a story or two on hand about times when you went above and beyond—just to sink the point.
We’re back on the playground again. Try and show your interviewer you’d be the kind of colleague they’d want to go to happy hour with to cheers over a big win. Be solicitous and easygoing. If the team likes you, that will go a long way in decision making.
The bottom line is: be yourself, but go the extra mile to make sure your best self is shining through in interview situations, even when you’re nervous and concentrating on selling your skills. It can make all the difference.