The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “What are three tips for nailing a job interview?” is written by Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.
Sell yourself. It’s one of the most important skills anyone can have.
I believe the interview process begins well before you enter the door. Your email (or phone) correspondence prior to the meeting can reveal a lot about you. Something as simple as including “looking forward to it” at the end of the email goes a long way. It shows excitement, but not desperation. And do NOT use five exclamation points!!!!! For startups or small businesses, being professional yet personable is attractive.
First off, if you were called in for an interview that means there’s already interest. You meet the requirements/qualifications — now it’s about like-ability. So, do your research. Mention the company’s latest press release. And if the interviewer asks you to tell them something about yourself that they wouldn’t know from looking at your resume, make sure to answer with something that makes you unique. My favorite answer was, “I’m an improv comedian.” Now, that’s fun to have around the office.
Next, don’t underestimate the benefit of following up after the interview either – it’s 50% of the battle. If you want the job, make it clear that you do. Someone once wrote the following and it won me over: “I want to make it clear that I am excited about the prospect of working for PureWow. I know I can do this job and do it well. I will work harder and smarter than the competition.” It was short and sweet, but got the point across.
CEO’s and hiring managers want to hire someone who is excited about their company and passionate about the job from day one. In the interview, be yourself. Listen intently. Be personable. Smile a lot. Ask specific, smart questions about the company and the role at hand. There is no difference between a first date and a first interview. Think about it. If you found someone you were compatible with, wouldn’t you want to come across as passionate and excited? Do the same for a job interview and don’t try to be someone you’re not. If you don’t know the answer to something, admit it.
Lastly, I conduct the “lunch test” after an interview is over. I think to myself, “would I want to have one-on-one lunch with this person?” If the answer is yes, then they typically fit the culture and they’re coming along for the journey.
Read all answers to the Leadership Insider question: What are three tips for nailing a job interview?
Why an impressive resume won’t get you hired by Sunil Rajaraman, co-founder of Scripted.com.
Birchbox co-CEO: How to nail a job interview by Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and co-CEO of Birchbox.