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Interviewing for a job can be stressful! This is especially true if you’ve been at your company for an extended period and your interviewing skills are rusty. With the economic upheaval due to the COVID-19 crisis, a lot of companies have been forced to conduct mass layoffs. Professionals across all industries are having to regroup on what their future looks like. This makes for a crowded job market, bringing more competition than usual. It’s estimated that by July, almost 20 million workers will be laid off or furloughed. While it’s true that some of these positions will rehire once businesses slowly start opening back up, it will be a gradual climb and the competition for available positions will be fierce. If you are having to re-interview for your position or interviewing for a new one, how can you stand out in a crowded job market?
Remember persuasion strategies
Your work experience is certainly vital, but there will be a multitude of qualified applicants on the job market. Sales and marketing professionals, business leaders, and students will stand out by embracing persuasion tactics to communicate their value. An interview is similar to any other conversation with a decision-maker, and candidates are simply selling themselves. Here are a few tips for positioning yourself to be the most hirable candidate:
Do your homework – Would you go into a sales presentation without first learning about the company and their needs? No! First, you must do research on your decision-maker (interviewer) and gather information to help you connect with them. Also, make sure you do your research and learn about the company, their pain points, and any other important information. Just as with other interactions with customers, pay special attention to generational communication style idiosyncrasies.
Create engaging visuals – Start your application process by preparing a cover letter and resume tailored to the job. No two presentations should be alike! Refresh your resume, make sure it’s clean and easy to follow, and look up current layout trends for your industry as a way to stand out. If you can add a graphic with any statistics of your accomplishments attach them to your resume if you have to send a resume ahead of a face to face interview.
If you’re able to secure an interview, chances are in the current climate, it will most likely be via video. Consider creating additional visuals to support your candidacy. This could be charted to showcase sales increases or any other supporting material that explain how you met or exceeded key performance indicators. You’ll want to be on screen connecting with the decision-maker, visual aids can be appropriate, and more importantly, impactful. People remember 20 percent of what they learn through oral communication only, 70 percent through visual only, and an astounding 90 percent of what they learn is through a combination of oral and visual communication. Learn ahead of the interview on how to share your screen and provide some visual backing that might help you get the offer.
Practice your performance – Jump online and check out reviews on Glassdoor to see if anyone has shared interview questions for the company you’re looking to join. Then, break out the video app and practice! Just like a great athlete, records, and reviews their performance, so should you! Ask an associate to help you interview remotely and sharpen your answers. Review the recording, and then practice the interview again. Does it look like you’re making eye contact? Are you inserting too many “ums” or “uhs” into your responses? Is your energy level coming through? Assess your performance and then practice again. The more prepared you are the more persuasive you will be!
Stand out with persuasion
With the competition at an incredible level, it will be crucial to make a good first impression. That starts with the visual representation of your skills in your resume and cover letter. The ability to portray knowledge and confidence over a video interview will position you as the most hirable candidate, especially when you can also connect with the decision-maker on a more personal level. Remember that an interview, at its core, is a sales presentation. You just happen to be selling your skillset and yourself as a member of the team. By utilizing persuasion tactics as you would with any other presentation, you can set yourself apart and give yourself an edge in securing your new role.