If you’ve fought through the job-hunting process and scored an interview, congratulations. You’ll know getting this far isn’t an easy process.
Reaching the interview stage can be frustrating, taking months of effort. On average, studies show that 118 people will apply for a single job, and experts say it can take up to ten applications for 47% of job seekers to receive an invitation to a job interview.
Let’s not forget the 38.3% of applicants who don’t get invited to an interview at all, even after ten tries. If you have found the process tiring, you’re definitely not alone.
So once you get an interview, it’s crucial that you nail the fundamentals straight off the bat to secure that crucial job offer.
What is the first impressions 7/11 rule?
It’s estimated that candidates have roughly seven seconds to make a good first impression, and within these seven seconds, the interviewer will form 11 impressions of you. Known as the 7/11 rule, elements such as your credibility, likability and competency will be judged.
According to Owen Murray, a former tech recruiter who now provides bespoke interview preparation advice, the number one interview no-no that will instantly put you out of the running, is overcompensation.
“It’s essential to make a lasting first impression, however, one of the biggest red flags has to be candidates that try too hard,” he says. Another negative? “Candidates asking bizarre questions that have nothing to do with the company or role.”
Murray explains that while this can be an indication of poor interview preparation, “it also alludes to a lack of soft skills like communication, critical thinking and collaboration”.
Noticed. But what should you do to ensure you stand out as the right candidate for the job?
Three questions you’ll be asked in a job-screening interview
A recent report highlights the three core questions you are likely to be asked in a screening interview. Having well-prepared answers for these can help you to succeed.
Being asked “tell me about yourself” can incite panic. What the interviewer wants from you here is a precis of your career to date, as it relates to the job you are going for. Leave out your uni job, but definitely include all and any professional experience and previous roles that will underscore what a good fit you are.
A screening interviewer needs to understand whether you’ve got the right skills for the role. Review the job description and make sure that your answer tallies with what the company is looking for. Highlight the skills you use most often, as opposed to ones you may be rusty on.
You may be asked what your career goals or aspirations are. Answering this well matters because you want to let the recruiter know that you see the role as a long-term prospect; if they think this is just a stepping stone for you, your candidacy may not be quite as attractive.
You could explain that you want this job so that you can progress your own skill set, build a long-term career path or make a move towards a less technical route into management.
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