The process of job hunting requires a lot of creativity. It is not about the proactive use of social media. It is about standing out in a competitive job market. As such, job seekers need to employ some self-presentation tactics to land on their dream job. Self-presentation is a way of exhibiting confidence and authenticity at the right time.
This is not a one-time thing but a habit that must be practiced. As a hiring manager, there are things you should look for in a potential candidate during a job interview introduction.
Job seekers must sell themselves. You should be able to see their professional competence on behalf of your employer. It is about how well they fit in the open job position. So, how they communicate in a job interview introduction can communicate a lot about how authentic they are.
What a candidate says is not as powerful as how they communicate it: i.e. the articulation, tone of voice, facial expressions, intensity, and gestures.
If you are the HR director, you have to introduce yourself to the interviewees as well. One of the interesting facts you should know about body language is that it is never silent. It tells a lot about a candidate’s personality through various movement dynamics like posture and eye contact. For this reason, you must be very keen on the body signs that a job candidate sends.
First Things First: The Personality
After receiving an application from a job seeker, there are some questions you must ask yourself. What is the potential employee selling? This is about the abilities, skills, and experience that you are seeking. Whether someone has a first-class grade in their Bachelor’s degree or has the most convincing voice in town, there’s always going to be a competition. Someone else out there could be a better employee. It is for this matter that we believe personality and attitude come before professional qualifications.
We always advise job seekers to master impression management. Anybody looking for a job must be ruthlessly honest with themselves. Wise candidates conduct a self-evaluation before coming to an interview. They are sure of their strengths and weaknesses as expressed in their CVs.
During the self-introduction for the job interview, find out what impression the interviewee leaves about their personality. There are numerous criteria you can use to assess job applicants. For instance, you might be looking for specific personal qualities. Extroverted applicants are very active. They usually make the first move even when it comes to the introduction. These are very enthusiastic individuals but they get bored and sidetracked easily.
But this doesn’t mean you should discriminate against people based on their personal traits. Your next great employee could be an introvert. Introverted individuals are usually calm and consistent, unlike the sanguine people who tend to be jumpy and disorganized. As the head of the HR department, you want a thorough and spontaneous worker.
How Should Candidates Present Themselves in Their Resumes?
Not everyone can compose a catchy resume. And that is why writing services such as Essayvikings.com are there to help anyone who gets stuck in the process of writing their CVs. Here are some important things to look for in a well-written resume.
Length: a single page is enough and everything must be factual.
Addressing a specific individual: it could be the personnel director, the hiring manager, or the chairperson of the company.
Well-defined career goal: this is also known as a personal statement that articulates an individual’s career objective including a list of their professional accomplishments and educational background. This shows that the applicant knows where they are headed. The last thing you want is a disorganized employee in your department.
Relevant skills: do their skills match up what you are seeking? Some applicants highlight abilities the way they want to present themselves without taking into account the job requirements. Everyone has some accomplishments they want the whole world to know, but they have no use in a resume if they are irrelevant for the job position at hand. A potential employee should include skills that demonstrate their stability and promotability. Professional memberships, certificates, and licenses are a great plus.
Cover letter: the letter should be personalized. Some uninformed job candidates address the manager instead of the personnel officer.
A great resume doesn’t include personal information such as health and current salaries. The applicant need not highlight their expectations of their future boss: The main purpose of a CV is to let the employer know what a candidate can do but not what they want. Make sure their CV is free of typos and grammatical errors.
The Best Impressions for Interviewees
Not every job applicant gets shortlisted as a potential candidate. Most applicants tend to forget the little things that make up big things. They focus too much on interview questions and get ready with witty anecdotes. What they don’t know is that other things can get them a fast pass even before they deliver thought-out responses.
As an interviewer gets into the interview room, what impression do they give you as a personnel officer? Here are some self-presentation elements you must look out for.
1. Arrival - Showing up on time is not enough. Job applicants arrived earlier than the stipulated time at the interview. After all, punctuality must be a priority when a dream job is at stake. If they run late, they should at least call you instead of showing up one hour late only to give lame excuses.
2. Dressing - Your final decision may not lie in how a candidate is dressed but their outfit plays an important role in how you perceive them as employees. Their dress code must exude a sense of professionalism. Consider candidates with neatly pressed suits and be apprehensive about those who are casually dressed.
3. Organization - During the first few minutes of an interview, you normally ask for an updated CV copy from a candidate. How quickly do they get it out of their briefcase? Are their bags filled with candy, receipts, chargers, and plastic bags? If the candidate wants to make the best first impression, they should have everything neatly organized for ease of access. They should be able to pull out a pen, resume, or reference quickly.
4. Politeness - From the front desk attendant to the security personnel, a potential employee must be nice to anyone they come across. After all, how do they know if the front desk attendant is the personnel officer or the company’s general manager? As the HR manager, you should ask the receptionist to report the behavior of the interviewees as they arrive. Do they introduce themselves properly and ask for directions? How do they treat the security officers at the main entrance?
5. Phone use - A lot of people tend to look at their phones whenever they are expected to wait in line. An interview is not a commercial or shopping experience. When you ask the job seekers to wait in a room, find out if they are quick to pull out their smartphones. A good candidate carries a book to peruse or goes over their resume to rehearse what they need to present in the interview. If you catch someone off guard watching funny stuff on their mobile phones, you will know you are dealing with a bad employee.
6. The first move - Does the candidate wait for you to make the first move? You don’t always have to be the one to introduce yourself first. A job applicant who extends an introductory handshake first is not only confident but exceptional. Such a small gesture as self-introduction is an indication that they are well prepared for any task.
7. Connection - After the self-introduction for a job interview, does the candidate initiate a meaningful conversation with the panelists? Or do they just keep mum with signs of uneasiness? They don’t need to try it so hard. All they need is to talk about common things to get their feet inside. There are a lot of conversation-worthy subjects that candidates can use to make meaningful connections with you as their interviewer. It is about the little things people can talk about before the real business talk.
These tips alone may not win a candidate their dream job but they will surely get them closer. We have talked about introductions but how should they actually be done? You are about to find out.
Job Interview Introduction
What is the right way for an interviewee to introduce themselves? You should make a great first impression because this is how you perceive their potential. The first phase of an interview is usually the hardest. What a jobseeker says at this stage matters a lot. It could make a huge difference in the results. It actually is not uncommon for hiring managers to reject or accept a candidate depending on what they do or fail to do as soon as they meet. For this reason, job candidates must be very careful with their mannerisms the first time they meet the recruiter.
Shradha Kumari, Human Resource Manager with SurveySensum feels that the best trick to crack any interview is to have a solid self-introduction. She states,
"An individual attending an interview should do his homework properly. The self-introduction of an individual creates a first impression on the interviewer. It should be prepared in a different way. This should not include any details which are already mentioned in the resume."
What Exactly Should an Interviewee Say After Arriving?
As soon as they meet the receptionist, they should tell them their name and the reason for visiting. For instance,“Hello. I am Janet Thompson and have an interview scheduled at 10.am in the office.” The receptionist escorts or directs them to the interview room.
Alternatively, if you receive your interviewees in the waiting area, don’t be quick to introduce yourself. Wait and see what the job seekers have to say. Does the candidate offer to shake hands? This etiquette is an important part of the introduction. Are they pleased to meet you? How about a smile and eye contact? They should say something like “My name is Janet Thompson. It is a pleasure to meet you.”
How to Spot Common Interview Mistakes
Here are 2 common mistakes job interviewees commit all the time.
Anxiety: One of the greatest limitations that job candidates face during an interview is anxiety. Being anxious makes the palms sweaty and gives a shaky voice. Intelligent candidates do anything possible to kick out their anxiety. They dry their palms in the bathroom or use tissue paper to do the same.
Irrelevance: Most recruiters start off with an open-ended query such as “Tell us about yourself.” For a candidate to answer such a question effectively, they need to focus on the key aspects of their resume which are relevant to the job position. Do their skills, experience, interests, and personality coincide with the job description?
Answering Interview Questions
If you ask a candidate to talk about themselves, what exactly do you expect to hear? You should expect a very precise introduction that will strike your interest. Basically, a brief summary of the most important qualification is sufficient. They should also mention some tidbits that reflect their personality such as being an art collector. The idea is to connect with you on a personal level. They have to show you that they qualify for the position and that they would be the best new hire. Take note of their first statement. It should represent someone’s passion for the job, but the interviewee must not go overboard talking about themselves. You also want everything to be brief so you can proceed to the next tough questions. After all, you got a lot of candidates waiting in line. For a more comprehensive list of questions that you can ask candidates, be sure to check out Outback Team Building & Training's D.I.S.C. Interview Questions.
The interviewer may follow up on the introduction with other questions. The candidate must support their claims. Ask for specific examples of how they have used their skills to perform office duties and academic projects. Give them a chance to ask you questions as well to see if they are curious individuals.
Isaac Hammelburger, founder of Search Pros suggests looking for passion when asking interview questions. He states,
"Oftentimes candidates come in promoting themselves as hardworking employees, being flexible, and capable of doing any task presented to them. However, what separates a candidate apart from the rest is their drive to work for the company. A candidate that has a passion for their work is an asset that is irreplaceable in any field. These candidates can be found when asked why they want to work for that company if answered with fervor and career path, it makes them valuable assets that have an end goal in their work. Their passion for their work and workplace is what will make them capable individuals and may even make recommendations that will be of benefit to the company."
How a candidate carries themselves matters a lot in a job interview. No matter the type of position that has been applied for, the applicant must act professionally throughout the process. They must be polite from the time they greet the receptionist, meet the interview panel, to the last moment they thank you for having them.
Use these self-presentation tips before you hold an interview to know if the applicants’ manners are on point. Accept nothing but the best impression. If someone is looking for employment, they should act as if their life depends on it because it actually does.
BIO: Bryan Davis is an international career coach who brings over a decade of counseling experience in the USA and Europe. He assists job candidates and professionals with job application audits and career coaching. Bryan has served as a communication chairman in two Canadian outsourcing companies for the last 3 years. He is also a great blogger and editor at Essayvikings. Meet Davis on the golf course during his free time.