If there’s a job you really want, then you need to take your time preparing and becoming the ideal job candidate. This means that when your interview rolls around, you’ll feel ready to handle whatever the process throws at you, and feel confident that you did your very best once you’ve left. Below, you’ll find 26 things you can do to become the ideal job candidate:
Candid individuals often make great communicators, and these people are essential for the office. You need a direct, clear way of speaking, and this will help to eliminate crossed wires and anything else that could cause problems. You’ll also engage more people in conversation and encourage faster action this way.
You should be friendly. You might be a straight-talking fierce and competitive person who wants to land the job, but you should still be friendly to everyone you meet.
Ambitious employees tend to always want to come up with an improved way of doing things. They tend to overcome hurdles, and are never satisfied, always working for better solutions. This is what most organizations will want to see.
You must be able to change with the business environment, and this goes for any job you get. Having a comfort zone can be nice sometimes, but those who love familiarity and hate change won’t get very far in the workplace.
Show Your Creativity
Many companies want creative employees who can increase innovation. You should be able to both work autonomously and come up with new ways of completing old tasks.
Making tough decisions is, well, tough. But companies love to be able to see that candidates feel confident doing that. People who can quickly and efficiently analyze the options and potential outcomes of a situation will always be more likely to get hired. Nobody wants a wishy washy employee who struggles to make even basic decisions. Remember, decisiveness is a skill you can practice.
Be Team Oriented
When recruiting, many people will look for those who buy into the system and can work in a team. You should be able to work by cooperating with others, fitting into the company’s culture.
Be Goal Oriented
Escalating your goals is a great trait to have – and you should enjoy the journey along the way, too. If you can show this to an employer, they will be more likely to hire you. They want to see people who can set their own goals and have a passion for the job and industry that they are in.
Intelligence is an important part of success. Of course there are variables, but you should be willing to show both your intelligence as well as your willingness to learn new things when going for a job. You may show that you’re intelligent by talking about your PMP Exam Prep or a recent course/study you took part in. Self directed learning and study is a great trait to have.
Make Sure You’re A Cultural Fit
If you’re not a cultural fit, then you should probably give up on the job now. Pretending to be a cultural fit may work, but the truth will come out in the end and you will hate working in this environment. Will you truly enjoy working here on a daily basis?
Showing that you can be energetic and upbeat each day is important. This can help others to build momentum, too, and employers love optimistic employees.
Having confidence is not egotistical or wrong. The best companies want to hire people who have confidence in themselves. This spawns a culture of improvement.
Show That You Are Internationally Aware
A global mindset is essential for growing businesses. You should be aware and sensitive to other cultures, customs, events, and perspectives if you’re going to succeed.
You may have all of the skills, but if you don’t take care of your hygiene and appearance then employers will think twice about hiring you. Make sure you dress appropriately and that you’re always clean and smelling fresh. Just because you can’t smell your coffee breath doesn’t mean it’s not there!
Prepare For The Questions
Make sure you carefully prepare for questions before you attend the interview. Have answers for questions such as ‘why do you want this job?’ and ‘tell us about yourself’. Make sure you relate everything back to the job and the company!
Research the Company
Having a decent knowledge of the company before you attend your interview is essential, so do your research. If you don’t bother to do this, hiring managers may well eliminate you from the hiring pool. Do your homework on the company’s website, blog, social channels, Glassdoor, and Wikipedia. Make sure you know who their competitors are and why they are different, too.
Find Out Who You’re Interviewing With and Research Them
As well as finding out what you can about the company, make sure you do your research on the person you’ll be having your interview with.
Ask Your Own Questions
Always make your interest clear by asking your own genuine questions. Let them ask you questions first, and have yours prepared at the end of the interview. Write the answers down!
Dress For The Job
How you dress will depend on the job you’re going for. Dress for the job you want, as if you have it already. Show them how you will be arriving into work. Don’t try to be too trendy or fashionable here.
Bring Two Extra Copies of Your Résumé
If you show up to your interview with no copies of your resume, you’re making a huge mistake. Don’t assume that the person you’ll be speaking with has one already. They may know nothing about you. If you have spare copies on you, you’ll never be caught off guard.
Turn Your Phone Off and Arrive Five to 10 Minutes Early
You shouldn’t be tempted to check your phone, and you definitely don’t want it buzzing away while you’re trying to answer a pressing question. Get there 10 minutes early (not too early), and turn your phone off. If you arrive too early then you might mess up the interviewer’s schedule if they feel they must accommodate you. Turning up too early can be just as rude as turning up late. 5-10 minutes before your interview time is a good time to aim for. Find somewhere else to wait if you arrive at the location even earlier.
Stay Engaged During Conversation
Make sure you don’t get eliminated from the process by not showing you are actively listening. Smile, nod, and make eye contact. You will make an impression by showing you are a good listener.
Get the Email Address of Everyone You Speak With
This will be helpful when the interview is over and you’ll be able to easily follow up.
Ask When to Expect a Decision and With Whom to Follow-Up
You shouldn’t leave the interview feeling confused about when you’re going to hear back. Don’t be too pushy, but make sure you have an idea of when you should know by and who you should speak to about it. Pay close attention to how they respond at the end of the interview and you should get a good idea of how it went, too.
Tell Them You Want The Job
If you’re feeling excited at the prospect of having this job by the end of the interview, make sure you tell them so. Let it be known how excited this opportunity makes you and allow your passion for the role to shine through.
Send a Follow-Up Thank You Email
Sending a quick, personalized email saying thank you to everybody you met with earlier on in the day will stand you in good stead. Mention a small detail or topic you discussed to personalize it, and make an even better impression on them even once the interview process is over. A handwritten thank you card could go down really well, too.
If you don’t hear back within 5 business days, it’s ok to follow up again. Make sure you know the point of contact and send a message that is short – you don’t want to come across as pushy or as if you’re nudging them into making a decision. You should seek to provide some value, however.
Becoming the ideal job candidate may take a little time and practice, depending on the role. The more you practice for this, the better the interview process will likely go. Ask somebody you trust to run through questions with you as if you were in a real interview. Don’t leave anything to chance and make sure you feel well prepared. You may never feel 100% ready, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t or that you’re not right for the role. Be positive – you might be just the kind of person that they are looking for!