Often, job seekers want to know exactly what to say during the interview. They hope there is a magic answer. “Ah, Miss Jones, you answered that one correctly…here’s your job.”
Sorry, it does not work that easily.
There are some things you CAN say at every interview that WILL make you stand out from the other candidates. Here are a few of them.
1. Please and thank you. Mom was right. Interviewers notice this, I kid you not. Thank the person for the interview, for the coffee, for opening the door, and for granting you the interview after. Do not worry about too many thank-you’s or pleases.
2. Say something like “I have been thinking about your company, and how I can make a contribution.” And then proceed to enlighten the interviewer on how you can help them. If you cannot do this, go back to square one, do some basic research and get to a point where you can say this….and be believable. It does not make any difference if your analysis is wrong by the way. They do not expect you to come up with a solution to a big problem…it is enough that you were thinking about their company, in advance of the interview.
3. Find something to compliment about the company. This is easy. Did you like the way you were greeted at reception? Do people seem nice? Find something to say positive to the interviewer. Be genuine.
4. Ask for the job. Too many interviews end in no-man’s land. Find out if they are interested by simply asking for the job. Too many interviews end with no real action…find out what you have to do next. This is clearly the most important thing you can say during the interview: “May I start right away.”
5. Repeat what the next steps are for you. You will be told what the next steps are…repeat them back to the interviewer. I can’t tell you how many people we have interviewed here, and the standard ending comment of our main interviewer is “well, how about if you think about the job, and if you are still interested give me a call by Friday, at 3 pm.” He is very specific as to when he wants to be called back. You would not believe how many people do not hear this, or choose to forget it. I think they believe that if the company is interested, that we will take action and call back. We won’t and neither will most companies.