Interviewing is an art. So many people underestimate all of the elements that make an interview a standout. You want to be not only memorable, but you want to leave an impression. A great impression. And, whether you’re interviewing internally or externally, you want to be prepared and there are so many tiny cues that separate your interview from being good to being great.
1) Handshakes mean more than you know. It says something about you and your character. A weak handshake can be an indication of a number of things. It lacks confidence, which often time employers will think about. If you have a weak handshake, you could be unsure whether you're qualified for the role, you have uncertainties, or you won't be driven, eager, willing, and enthusiastic to learn. When I shake a potential employee's hand, I look for direct eye contact, a firm handshake and a solid introduction. Every manager I have ever worked for or worked with every type of business agrees. A handshake goes a long way. Make it count.
2) Internal mistakes - The most common mistake I see when interviewing comes from employees interviewing within the current company. Sometimes a sense of comfort and familiarity gets the best of potential candidates. What I see most often is employees that come into an interview for a promotion or another position often don't take the interview as seriously as they should. They figure that the interviewees already know who they are, they know their work ethic, and it should be a cakewalk. When the exact opposite happens. It is truly frowned upon when current employees don't treat it seriously. You should treat any interview as if you were interviewing for people you did not know. Do the research, come prepared, answer professionally and thoroughly. Fight for the position you want by making your employers proud.
3) Non-verbal cues - They are so critical to an interview. When you come in to sit down for an interview, be mindful of your posture. Sit up tall and straight. Sit still. Candidates that move back and forth or twitch or rock cause a distraction and it takes away from the potential quality of your answers because the interviewees are now watching your twitches and movements. Talk slowly, be thorough. Pace yourself. Treat it like a public speech. Slow and steady wins the race, not the fast, nervous one. Keep direct eye contact; don' t look around the room or at anything else other than the people you're talking to.
4) Come prepared. I cannot stress this enough. Understand the role and the responsibilities that come with the job. Be prepared to identify why you specifically are right for this role. What separates you from everyone else? Why should you be selected? And above all, ask questions at the close of interview. Always ask questions. It shows you are inquisitive and thoughtful and are eager to learn about the position.
5) Sell yourself in the best light. Be honest, but always turn your negatives into positives. For example, most interviews come with questions like: What is your biggest weakness? Saying that you have no weaknesses is a lie. Be honest. For example, saying that you are a perfectionist has been a detriment to you could be accurate. This can be a positive and a negative. But not a bad negative. It means you strive for perfection and great results. That is an admirable trait in a potential candidate.
Those are just several very critical tips that I recommend when preparing for and doing an interview. Do not overlook the small details. Every element counts. Make a great impression. Not just a good one. Come out fighting. What is going to separate you from every single person going in for this position? Be yourself but be your greatest self during the interview. And lastly, practice makes perfect. Getting feedback on interviews for jobs that you did and did not get positions for will ultimately prepare you further for your next big move. Be open and receptive to feedback. It's all about growth and why wastes your time interviewing for a position if you're not going to put up a good fight. Read up and good luck!