The hardest part of landing your dream job is getting your foot in the door. Traditionally, it has taken a recruiter a short seven seconds to form their initial impression on you. Today, those seven seconds have turned into a rapid 6 seconds. You're probably laughing and wondering to yourself "why on earth should I care if the time frame is six seconds versus seven?". Well, think about what you can say in six seconds. In six seconds, you can barely introduce yourself.
So what is looked for in those six seconds? Body language is a big factor. Your presence and ambiance can set the tone, and your expressions can dictate what the recruiter will think of you.
Now, if in those six seconds the recruiter gets a bad taste in their mouth from you, imagine how disengaged he or she will be from the rest of the conversation. However, if you create a positive first impression, the interview may head down in your favor and possibly even check you off for the next round!
Besides your approach, there are thousands of other ways to stand out from the pool of candidates. Here are a few that really make you memorable.
1. Send a thank you letter.
So many people do not do this. Those who do in fact send a "thank you" note to the interviewer after their meeting tends to be more favorable. It shows desire and drives to get the position. This letter can be done through email, or even a handwritten letter would really wow your potential boss.
2. Include a signature at the end of every email.
Many people also forget to include a signature at the end of their emails. By ending the message with your full name, phone number and email address, communication are made easier for the interviewer. Who doesn't like the ease of communication?
3. Engage in the conversation, don't just speak about yourself.
If you get stuck, ask the employer about themselves and their story. Everyone loves to talk about themselves. From then on, build off the conversation and maintain an active conversation. Bounce ideas off from what they say and formulate questions that have to do with the topic to carry the conversation.
4. Always, always ask questions at the end.
For one, you should come into the interview with questions already thought of. If not, or you realize that the questions you've prepared do not merge well with the conversation you had, again, ask the interviewer about themselves. Ask them questions that you can not find the answers to online. If you're still drawing a blank, as I said, ask the interviewer about the path they took to get into the position they are in today and how their experiences have shaped them to become a successful professional.
5. Think about yourself from a behavioral point of view.
Recruiters and HR professionals have really pinpointed the idea that has deceived so many people. They have realized that there are people who are good at interviewing however are not the fittest for the job and there are people who are fit for the job however are not so great at interviews. So, an approach that recruiters have begun taking is asking behavior-based questions rather than situation based ones. This helps the recruiter identify your work ethic, mentality and prior experiences that can qualify you for the job. With that in mind, think about your answers to questions like "Tell me about a time you had to come to an adversary" or "Can you share a moment where you had to work with a team to complete a project?".