CEO shares 3 ways to “instantly impress” during a job interview

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CEO shares 3 ways to “instantly impress” during a job interview

The first five minutes of a job interview can make or break your chances of getting an offer.

These fleeting moments set the tone for the rest of the interview: If you show up late, unprepared, or glued to your phone, it’s hard to convince the interviewer that you want the job, even if you’re qualified.

To get a hiring manager’s attention, you need to project a friendly, confident and professional demeanor from the start, says William Vanderbloemen, CEO of executive search firm Vanderbloemen Search Group.

Vanderbloemen has interviewed over 30,000 job candidates throughout his career – and the ones who stand out, he says, always do these 3 things to immediately impress a hiring manager during a job interview:

You may have felt comfortable dressing for online meetings during the pandemic, but a more casual ensemble won’t do you any good for a job interview—even if it’s on Zoom.

While the interviewer is likely to only see your top half online, they may catch a glimpse of your sweatpants, depending on the camera angle, warns Vanderblomen. Some interviewers may even ask you to stand up during a video call to check that you are wearing professional attire.

“I know this sounds like old silly stuff, but if you want to impress a recruiter, you really need to dress for the job,” he says. “It’s an important sign that you’re taking this opportunity seriously.”

Regardless of the interview setting, Vanderbloemen recommends checking the company’s website and social media to find out what people are wearing to the office or, if the company is remote, to corporate meetings and personal events. Then match your outfit accordingly.

Most people will do basic research on the job they are interviewing for, but few will go the extra mile and learn about the latest developments of the company or the person they are interviewing with.

Vanderblumen says he’s “always impressed” when a candidate has done their homework on the recruiter or interviewer and is up-to-date on the latest company news.

For example, you could call up the company’s latest earnings report and compliment where the numbers are strong, or mention a recent article you read about someone who works at the company or a new initiative they’re launching.

“If you can show the interviewer in the first 5-10 minutes of the conversation that you’ve invested some time in learning about this company, you’ll go a long way,” says Vanderbloemen. “There is always so much change happening in the job market that the people who are curious and constantly learning are the ones who will be successful.”

Asking about salary within the first few minutes of meeting a hiring manager is one of the “quickest ways to start the interview off on the wrong foot,” says Vanderblumen, and yet “many candidates will make this mistake.”

This “sounds grabby and entitled,” warns Vanderblumen. Instead, you should research the salary range for a role using free resources like Glassdoor or Payscale before an interview and wait for the hiring manager to bring it up.

If you get to a second or third round interview and payment still hasn’t been mentioned, you can bring up the topic of compensation towards the end of the conversation.

Here are two scripts you can follow, as recommended by Vanderbloemen:

  • “I’m interested that you didn’t mention salary at all. Why?’
  • “I’m really excited about this job. I need to know how this job will affect my financial well-being. Can you give me an idea of ​​what the salary range is for this position?’

While pay is important, talking less about compensation during an interview can be to your advantage. As Vanderbloemen notes, “If a candidate expresses more interest in a company’s mission, its goals, and its workplace culture than in compensation, that will just make me do a backflip and pay them the highest salary we can offer.” .”

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