Applying and interviewing for a job can be a stressful process. Despite advanced preparation as well as strong performance during the interview, the outcome may result in you not getting the job. Why, you ask? Of course, there are always simple explanations and reasons that are beyond your control:
- the role may get filled internally
- other individuals may be identified as more closely matching the skill set or requirements of the job
However, there are cases in which you could have done something differently, and one or more of the following is to blame for you being eliminated from the process:
- your appearance
- your behavior during the interview
- yes, your social media profile(s)
Here are five job interview tips to reflect on that could potentially improve your chances of success the next time around.
1) Exude Confidence
Demonstrating confidence at the beginning and during the interview is an important facet to winning over the interviewer(s). A firm handshake along with eye contact and a smile serve as positive reinforcements, signaling to the interviewer(s) that you are the right candidate for the job.
If you are nervous during the beginning of the interview, it might be worth making some small talk as a method to ease into the process. During the interview, it is important to demonstrate that you are the right candidate by highlighting your strengths with examples, and being explicit about your achievements.
2) Know Your Worth
When asked about your salary expectations, be clear about what you are currently making, and what you will require if you choose to leave your current organization. If you don’t ask for it, chances are you likely won’t get it.
It is important not to undersell yourself — employers want to know that you are aware of your own self-worth and confident about your skills and abilities.
Be vocal about your total compensation expectations, but also demonstrate reasonableness. If the company will offer you equity instead of a higher base, chances are this could be a better option. Thus, don’t automatically discount the offer if the base salary does not match your requirements.
3) Address Resume Gaps
Gaps may exist on your resume for several reasons including personal time off for traveling, parental leave, career transitions, ill health, etc. You should not be worried about disclosing the reasons for these gaps to your potential employers.
The key is to emphasize that your skills are up to date, and that you have taken steps to ensure that you remain competitive in the job market, irrespective of how long you may have been away.
4) Tweet and Post Responsibly
It’s understandable that people use their social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) profiles as a way to express their opinions and share pictures. However, these tools are also ways for employers to observe your character, personality, and behaviors, and they serve as another tool to evaluate whether you would be a suitable fit for their organization.
I can’t tell you the numerous times I have come across inappropriate Facebook or LinkedIn profile pictures or messages in a candidate’s Twitter feed. Make sure you think twice before posting any inappropriate material, as that could potentially hurt your chances at obtaining a job.
5) Dress Appropriately
As a female, I find it is slightly more difficult to determine how to dress when appearing for an interview than my male counterparts, who can easily pull it off with any standard suit. With the constantly changing styles and fashion trends, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the wardrobe choices! However, one important thing to note — the classic black, navy, greys, and whites will never go out of style for an interview.
Keep your style simple and chic. For you females, don’t choose bold colors for your outfit, jewelry or shoes, as that can become a distraction during the interview. Also avoid uncomfortable shoes (e.g., high heels) or mini-skirts that can potentially lead to embarrassing situations.
With these basic tips in mind you’ll be free to focus yourself on doing your research and honing the talking points that are going to establish you as a top candidate and truly set you apart. Good luck out there!