At 4.9%, unemployment rates in the United States are the lowest they have been in the past five years. The triumph of overcoming high unemployment rates is a great success not only for the United States economy, but for our nation as a whole. The unemployment rate sinking proves that American citizens are becoming more educated and are eager to make money and a difference within their community. However, the downfall to these lower percentages of unemployment result in higher competition to receive the job one truly desires. Therefore, competition within the job market is quite prevalent. The interviewing process is a time in which one can truly set themselves apart from the other candidates by conveying to their future employer who they are and what they have to offer. Below are some essential tips as well as statistics to keep in mind before entering the interviewing process.
- Do your homework: The reason you applied for this job should be because you felt like it would be the best fit for you. Don’t show up at an interview not knowing what the company is looking for in a potential hire. 47% of the times, candidates don’t have any information about the company they are applying for. Companies want to see that you are interested in working there. You can impress interviewers just by sharing some history about the company or even the people that work there. Recruiters want to see that you went further than just clicking apply on their website and actually took the time to learn what the company’s goals are, what they’re looking for in a candidate, and if there is any significant work they may have done in the past.
- Keep a clean profile: 93% recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social media profile. In fact, one in three employers have rejected candidates because of something they found out about them online. Therefore, it’s so important to filter your social media accounts during your job search. A good tip would be to Google yourself and see what photos and statuses show up. Basically, you don’t want to regret that you lost the job because of pictures from your friend’s bachelorette party!
- Know your strengths & accept your weaknesses: Highlight your strengths first, and when asked about a weakness, turn it into something you understand that you are working on. Avoid cliche answers like “I’m a perfectionist” or “I work too hard”. Interviewers want to see that you come up with genuine answers. Instead of just listing your skills, you want to mention them throughout the interview by providing examples. Try to showcase them in every question and even small talk! If asked about how you could turn a weakness into a strength, provide an example about the time you already had done so. A common question during interviews asks candidates to explain a difficult situation and how you handled it. This is an opportunity to acknowledging your weaknesses whilst highlighting your strengths.
- Interview the interviewer: The interview is a time for both you and the interviewer to know whether you would be a good fit for the company and if the company would be a good match for your qualifications. Ask the interviewer questions about the company and HOW it would be a good fit for you. 60% of interviewers base the overall quality of an interview on small talk initiated by the candidate. That can include a simple, “how do you like working here?”. Ask them about their experience and take time to get to know the interviewer and the environment of the company to get a feel for what it’s like.
- Be passionate, not a dreamer: While interviewing it is very important to emanate that you are very much interested in the position. Talking with passion and excitement can separate you amidst the competition. However, employers highly dislike when candidates state that this is their, “dream job” because it comes off as if the candidate is applying for the job to fulfill a dream of theirs, which comes off as childish.
- Dress for success: First appearances are very important in the business world. The way one presents themselves during an interview is vital. For example, what you wear to interviews as well as your posture during the time you are speaking with the employer conveys a certain message as to who you are as an individual as well as a business man or women. In fact, 73% of interviewers judge the overall interview process based off of the way the candidate dresses. Furthermore, 73% of interviewers take personal appearance into consideration during the hiring process. By having upright posture and dressing above expectations will convey confidence as well as sophistication to employers, and these qualities are highly desirable among candidates.
- The Little Things Make a Big Difference: A candidate who has the ability to hold eye contact while answering questions, have a firm handshake, and showing up to the interview early are small yet key characteristics that interviewers look for in a potential employee. 50% of interviews say they judge a candidate based off of the initial handshake and 55% of interviews make decisions on an who to hire based off of their handshake. Furthermore, 82% of interviewers seek out employees who are capable of holding solid eye contact.
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