Every Interviewer Thinks About 6 Things

You’re looking for your next job and you have been granted an interview!  Congratulations!  Now, it’s time to prepare for the important meeting.  Preparing for that all-important interview is pretty straightforward.  Here are few things to do beforehand:  Do some research about the company and prepare yourself to answer some of the most common interview questions.  Many candidates tend to do these fairly common and easy things before the interview, but you can put yourself one step ahead if you actually put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes.

So, let’s take a closer look at what the interviewer is thinking as soon as you walk into the room for the interview:

“I hope I like you.”  This may seem obvious, but also very important.  Most people want to work with people they like and get along with.  How do you accomplish this?  Smile!  Make eye contact with the interviewer, and be enthusiastic.  Remember, the employer-employee relationship is very important and can start right as you walk into the interview.

A candidate who makes a great first impression can quickly put them ahead in the job pool.  Granted, you may have solid experience or qualifications, but if the interviewer doesn’t like you, they are less likely to hire you for the position.

“I hope you ask questions that are important to you…”   This is critical.  Interviewers want to make sure you are a good fit for the job and the organization; however, they need to make sure the job is also a good fit for you as well.  So, ask a lot of questions, such as what you could accomplish within the first few weeks of the position.  (Here are seven smart questions great candidates can ask.)  Keep in mind, there is no way to know whether you want the job unless you ask questions.

“I hope you stand out…”  There are many times an interviewer doesn’t remember a lot about the candidate and will sometimes refer to someone as “the woman who runs marathons.”  Interviewers may remember you by a so-called “hook.”  This is why you should use the “hook” to your advantage, such as an unusual fact about your career.  During the interview, remember to give the interviewer one or two things to remember you by.

“I hope you bring a ‘project.'”  Before going to an interview, it is expected that you will do research on the company beforehand.  But, to really impress the interviewer, be specific and tell them exactly how you will contribute to the company right off the bat.  For example, if you have a specific skill, tell them how it can be used immediately.

“I want you to ask for the job— but I also want to know why you want the job.”  Once the interview comes to an end, you should have a better idea about the job you are applying for and whether you actually want the position.  If you do decide you want the job, tell the interviewer, but don’t forget to mention why you want the position.  For example, you may thrive in an unsupervised role or you love working in small groups.

“I want you to follow up.”  This may be the most important thing to remember.  After an interview, make sure you send a brief follow-up note to the interviewer.  It can be as simple as thanking them for the interview and that you enjoyed meeting them.  If you want to go into more depth, you can also follow up with some specific that you discussed during the interview.  The more you listen during the interview, the more easier it is to naturally think of something to follow-up with afterwards.

For more interviewing techniques for a job in the occupational safety and health field, check out this HSE Press Journal article.