Interview Prep 101 – Acing the Job Interview

You’ve got your resume polished and your verbal selfie perfected. But does a prospective employer see you the same way you see yourself? Is the person sitting across from you even looking for the same character traits you think she is? Here’s how to get inside the mind of a hiring manager and find out what he’s really thinking!

Top 5 Personal Qualities

The top personal qualities that employers say they hope to find in a job candidate are not surprising: confidence, adaptability, dependability, loyalty, and friendliness, according to Chron. It’s important to remember these are qualities that must be demonstrated, not just verbally listed! It won’t do you much good to tell the hiring manager that you’re confident while you are nervously twirling a lock of hair or biting a thumbnail.

The Body Language of Confidence

The most physical of the personal traits you’ll be bringing to the interview, confidence is a quality your body will either make or break. While it’s hard to fake confidence, you can practice—which in turn will actually improve your natural confidence.

How to do it? Practice standing tall in front of a mirror with your shoulders back, and look yourself straight in the eye. Just don’t stare too long or you’ll look like an oddball. Fidgeting and talking too fast can be giveaways, so Inc. suggests practicing with a friend and have her point out any conversational quirks you might be unaware of. And don’t be afraid to leave some occasional silences in the conversation. It shows deep thinking on your part!

Your Answers Can Show You’re Adaptable

Adaptability is the Yin to the confidence Yang. While being comfortable with what you know is a highly appealing character trait, being too confident can come off as arrogant or close-minded. When you are given a hypothetical question in the interview, answer confidently, then stop to consider another angle (say, that of an opposing colleague) and show that you would consider what he thinks as well. This is a great way to demonstrate that adaptability is one of your strong suits!

Let Facebook Show Your Loyalty

You’ve heard the rumors and they’re true: the vast majority (93 percent) of employers will check your social media feeds, Workopolis reports. No need to be nervous—social media is actually a great way to demonstrate some of the personal qualities employers are looking for!

Loyalty is one of the personal characteristics employers hope to find in a job candidate. So, let your social involvement over a long period of time — with the same groups and individuals — show what a loyal person you are. Check out your profiles across platforms—Linked In, Facebook, Twitter—to see if the same groups, people and interests are consistently appearing. You don’t want to look like three different people!

Demonstrate Your Dependability with Clean Profiles

Employers are on the lookout for dependable employees who will not embarrass them down the road, so take the time to clean up your profiles BEFORE sending out your resume. Be aware of these potential downfalls that could hurt your social media profile.

We’ve mentioned this before, but posts that mention illegal drugs, references of a sexual nature, profanity, guns, and irresponsible drinking are huge red flags. So are bad spelling and bad grammar. In fact, those are just as much of a turn-off to those detail-oriented folks in HR.

Be Friendly, But Not Too Friendly

The kind of friendliness employers are looking for is competency with social interactions and an interest in working with others. But there’s a danger in showing too much friendliness in the job interview, Forbes warns.

Hiring managers are looking for someone who can bring problem-solving savvy to the organization, not a person who is out to win a popularity contest. By appearing too eager to be affable, you may come across as a person with no sense of self or someone who is desperate to get the job. If you relax and be yourself, your prospective employer will have a chance to accurately see how you will fit in to the culture of their company.

Practice Interviewing with Your New Friends!

Everyone starting an internship will be in a similar situation, excited and nervous about those first job interviews. Practice your interviews together at one of our three locations across New York City! 

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