You walk into the interview room and you are ready. You’re looking good, feeling confident, and ready to show off your skills. But then things start to go south. The interviewer isn’t smiling, he doesn’t seem that interested in what you have to say, and wait‑‑did he just yawn?
Even if you give stellar responses in an interview, there are other things an interviewer expects but never tells you.
Here are five insights into an interviewer’s mind that can help you during your next interview:
1. They want real impact statements.
Simply put, interviewers want proof to back up what you say.
When you’re asked to “talk about a time when you overcame a problem,” don’t just tell them the story of how you conquered the company email database, making it more user-friendly. Tell them how your solution impacted the company. Did the company newsletters reach 250 more people? Did it allow you to grow your client base by 15 percent?
Even the best told story isn’t as interesting to an interviewer as cold, hard facts.
2. Your answer should have ended five minutes ago.
It’s natural to ramble when you’re nervous, but know when to stop yourself before you begin to give TMI. Get to your point and stay on topic. If the original question was about your educational background and you’re now talking about your Freshman year roommate, it’s time to shut up.
Know where the line between appropriate and inappropriate lies and do not cross it. This doesn’t just mean being polite, but also professional. If your last boss was terrible and you’re asked about him, focus on flaws with his managerial style, not his personality or character. This is an opportunity to tell the interviewer what type of relationship you prefer to have with a superior, not bash an old boss.
3. Show them you’ve done your research.
The company has already looked into you, so you need to spend time researching if this particular company is right for you.
Before you even apply for the job, vet the company. Dig through their website, read their blog, follow them on social media and see what interests you.
This will give you a feel for the company culture and how well you’ll enjoy working there. It also lets you know what to highlight in your answers. If the company works closely with a charity you volunteer for, bring it up. Once the interviewer knows you’ve taken the time to look into the company, they’ll see how serious you are about the job.
4. Interviews go both ways.
Nobody likes sitting silently while someone talks at them. Your interviewer wants you to talk with them.
Ask your interviewer questions about the work environment and the future of the company. By doing that, you’re no longer in the middle of a nerve-wracking interview but having a conversation where both sides are building a relationship.
When you leave an interview, the company knows if you’re the right person for the job. They want to know that you’re equally confident about them. It would be a waste of resources to train you and three months later you realize the work environment isn’t for you.
5. What “we’ll be in touch” actually means.
It brings all kinds of questions to mind, like are you going to call me or should I call you? And how long should I wait?
The hiring process is long and it’s only getting longer. A Glassdoor study found the average time of the interview process in the U.S. has increased from 12.6 days to 22.9 days. So hold your horses, it might be a while.
The interview is the perfect time for you to find out more about the company’s process. They know they won’t make the final decision until the end of the month, but you don’t. Save yourself a lot of time waiting by the phone and ask what the next steps in the process are.
What other secrets do you know about an interviewer’s expectations?