Once you’ve decided on the career that’s right for you, it’s time to get the job! In most cases that mean nailing the job interview. You may already be preparing by reading up on how to dress, practicing a firm handshake and answering common interview questions you may be asked. All that is great, but there are a few things that hopeful job applicants usually don’t read about before their interview.
I’m sharing a few interview tips that rarely get talked about, even though they could determine whether or not you get the job.
Be Prepared for Drug Testing
According to the clinicians at River Oaks Treatment Center, the amount of time that drugs stay in the system varies from person to person and can be influenced by a number of factors. It largely depends on the person’s physical makeup, the drug that was taken and the quantity that was consumed1.
A variety of tests can be given to measure drug concentrations within a person’s bloodstream. In the workplace, urine tests are the type most commonly used for pre-employment screening.
If you’ve been prescribed medications, you may want to disclose that on your application or during the interview. Some prescription drugs (including medical marijuana) can interfere with a drug test. Heading it off by explaining the situation could help you avoid an awkward conversation afterward.
Watch Your Body Language
You may have heard that most communication doesn’t happen through the words you say but rather how you say things. However, many people don’t realize how important body language and tone are compared to the words coming out of their mouth.
There’s been debate over just how much information is relayed through non-verbal communication versus verbal communication, but the consensus is clear. Body language provides more information and sends more signals than anything else2.
Body language is often more complex and nuanced than verbal communication3. There are 700,000 possible motions we can make after all. Non-verbal communication can include things like:
- · Hand gestures
- · Facial expressions
- · Eye contact
- · Touch
- · Posture
One of the best body language tips I’ve ever gotten is the use the acronym SOLAR – smile, openness, lean forward, eye contact and relax. If you follow those five body language guidelines, you’ll make a good impression no matter what situation you’re in.
Be Anything But Boring
The goal of a job interview is to leave the recruiter or manager with a great impression. If a number of people are interviewing for the same position, you want to be memorable for all the right reasons. Applicants that bore the interviewer will be forgotten the moment they leave.
Interviewees that come off as robotic and rehearsed aren’t going to make a connection with the interviewer. They want to know what drives you and get a taste of your personality. For companies that put emphasis on corporate culture, knowing that someone will fit in is a top priority. Don’t be afraid to be a little unconventional and let you shine through. At the end of the day, that’s much more important than saying all the right things in a boring textbook way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Salary
Too often job applicants think bringing up salary during the interview is a no-no. The reality is salary is a big aspect of any job. The interviewer will completely understand if you have questions about the pay.
The interview may not be the best time to negotiate salary, but it is the time to make sure you understand the pay and benefits. These topics may come up naturally during the interview, so hold off on bringing up your concerns or questions until the end of the conversation.
Know Your Role
Having a take-charge attitude can be a very good thing on the job, but during the interview, it’s not always the best course of action. In an interview with Forbes Magazine, author and entrepreneur Erika Andersen noted that hiring managers are turned off by applicants that try to run the show4.
You have to remember that they are the ones asking questions and directing the conversation because they are the ones that are hiring. The better course of action is to focus on what the interviewer wants and listen intently to what they are saying. Playing off of their actions and creating a dialogue is much better than dominating the conversation.
It’s also important to know the role you’re interviewing for through and through. Before the interview research the company and the position. Some companies do a good job of adding a lot of detail to the job posting. It always helps to be familiar with what’s expected and the role that the job plays within the company at large. Drop a few keywords and examples of how you can meet the specific demands and you’re much more likely to land the job.