When you get an interview call after applying to hundreds of jobs out there, your elation is natural. You research about the company, its work culture, and prepare yourself for the interview. You also talk to people to find out how to crack the interview. You also read blog posts on the same.
Some of the questions job seekers fail to ask themselves before getting down to preparing for the interview is: what do the interviewers want from me? What is he/she looking for?
Knowing the needs and the requirements of interviewers can help you prepare yourself for the interview. Recruiters don’t want automatons who recite memorized answers. You don’t have to make the answers up. As long as you have a general idea of what all employers want, irrespective of the post, the industry, and the job profile, you should do pretty well.
7 Things Interviewers Look for in Prospective Employees.
#1: They want you to be yourself
Yup; that is what they want.
They don’t want people to impress them with a smooth presentation or with a whole list of achievements. Well, they might if you are going for a sales job or a job in the entertainment industry. But, even there, the chances are less.
Recruiters want real people. Not people who have been programmed to answer in a certain manner. If you make an ostentatious presentation (or any presentation, for that matter), they will start thinking if you are all bling and no substance. They want people with substance. Bling does not help anybody. You just have to be yourself and be able to hold a conversation.
#2: They want you to look them in the eye
This does not mean you stare at them. Look at them naturally. When they talk to you, look them in the eye so they know you understand what they are saying. Your eyes reflect most of your emotions.
When you list out your accomplishments, they’ll be twinkling with enthusiasm. And when you talk about working hard and giving your best, your eyes will be brimming with sincerity. Let the interviewers see that.
If you keep looking here and there, the interviewer will be suspicious of you as he/she has no way of knowing whether you are being honest or not.
#3: They want you to relax
Interviewers don’t want you to get nervous and sit weirdly. If you try to sit too straight, you might give the impression that you are a very rigid person. And people don’t want to work with rigid people. They want real people. You’ve got to relax.
That, of course, does not mean that you be too relaxed and give them the impression that you are about to doze off. The best way to do this is to sit straight in front of the mirror and relax. You’ll know how you look and then you will be able to understand how the interviewer sees you.
#4: They don’t want you to sit quiet
You are here for a reason, for a purpose, and the purpose is to show the interviewer that you are the right person for the job. You cannot accomplish this without opening your mouth. When you are asked a question, answer it. If it makes you uncomfortable, then answer it briefly or divert it into a story that’ll drive your point home.
Don’t start off on completely different topic to avoid answering the question. This will make the interviewer feel that you’ve got some serious skeletons in your closet and that you won’t be a reliable person to work with. Also, don’t go on and on and on answering one question. They don’t want ramblers.
#5: They want you to ask questions
At the end of every interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. If you have nothing to ask, don’t ask about the salary. Questions about money and benefits should be asked only during the last interview. Ask questions that’ll give the interviewer the impression that you have given serious thought to this job and that you are already wondering about what your days will be like.
You could ask about business processes and the people who work there. These questions should show the interviewer that you are not greatly interested in the surface details, but that you are interested in the work. The best questions are the ones that follow up on what the interviewer has said. This shows that you were listening to him and that you can think on your feet.
#6: They want you to listen
Interviewers get really exasperated when a candidate does not listen to question properly and starts giving a very generic answer. Don’t think about the interviewer said 5 minutes ago or what he might say. They can make it out. Be in the present and focus on what is being said.
#7: They want you to tell them stories
Not the Hansel and Gretel, and the Rapunzel stories you read as a child. When they ask you of accomplishments, they want to know how you took care of a problem; they want you to tell them stories. Stories of what happened and how you handled it. It gives an insight into you. You could have introduced a new process, handled team disputes, dealt with a tyrant boss – absolutely anything difficult. Tell them how you dealt with difficulties and they’ll be interested.