By Nikhil Choudhary, CEO at Zenith Engineers Inc.
When you are being interviewed, the interviewer is most likely testing their own ability to lead you. If you walk into an interview with this message in mind, you would overcome the fear of rejection. In our own organization, we have selected candidates who did not have the strongest profile but stood out with regard to other key traits, some of which I have listed below:
Don't walk into an interview believing your resume alone will make you a standout candidate. Although the schools you went to or the experiences you have gained so far do matter, what matters more is whether you have come prepared.
Have you researched the position? Have you researched the company history? Have you considered reading about the professional journey of your interviewer before walking in? A little human touch could increase your chances significantly over other candidates.
I remember once rejecting a candidate right after an initial phone interview. The candidate sent me two follow-up emails emphasizing what he thought went wrong with the interview, how he would have improved, how he had been following the company's growth for some time, and how he would add immense value to the organization. I liked his personal touch and his persistence. I made the decision to hire this candidate over other, better-performing candidates. This person is now one of the youngest executives in our company and one of our best performers.
Speak Less, Listen More
When you walk into an interview, it's important that you match the need of the hour. There is a certain void that your hiring manager is trying to fill with the right person. Understand what this void is by asking smart questions, such as what are they trying to achieve with the position, the challenges they are currently facing, and why are they facing these challenges. Be alert when the interviewer talks and emphasize your strong points that could help fill the void.
Be Passionate About What You Do
Convey your passion about the job role during your interview. Tell your interviewer why you chose the line of trade you are in. Let the interviewer know how you can add value to the team and to the position. Bring out examples from your past experiences identifying problems and how you found a solution.
Walk into an interview with a smile. This simple human emotion is a rare find in an interview. Most of the interviewees are so stressed out that they forget to smile. Always remember that the interviewer wants to hire you if you fit the role.
They most likely need help on their team sooner than you need a job. It's a two-way street. Arrive early so you get some time to adjust to the new surroundings, reduce the importance of the event in your mind, and think of the interview as a professional discussion you are about to have with your colleagues.
Never Fabricate Your Resume
It's the biggest and most common mistake candidates can make. Organizations are smart: They will find out easily if you fabricated your resume. It can create problems for you in the future, so always be honest in your approach.
Only list the skills that you are good at. When a certain skill is required for a job role and you do not possess that skill, be up front with the interviewer and let them know that you are a fast learner and will make a point to master it.
Send a Follow-Up Thank-You Note
This is a commonly mentioned point in most interview-preparation articles, yet so few candidates do it. Do not forget to thank the person/recruiter who arranged your interview or who got you connected to the hiring manager either. There is a good chance that your interviewer trusts this person, and a good word from them might just land you the job.
Nikhil Choudhary is the CEO at Zenith Engineers Inc. He is responsible for operations, estimating, sales and strategy.