|photo from here|
I have always taken pride that I can select a good candidate among a roster of applicants during interviews. After five years of observing and conducting these interviews, from the simple 'so tell me about yourself' to the more intimidating 'if you were to sell this pen to me, how will you convince me' and even to the more technical data of suspense accounts and how it clears in the books, I have a good grasp on who feeble, who exaggerates or simply tells the truth.
.. but what if the tables were turned?
Locked-up in a boardroom, sitting across a big boss, or worse, surrounded by top-tier management officers in a panel discussion, how do you win them to hire you?
The qualities that I look for in a person then comes to mind and I place myself in my interviewer's shoes and apply the things I learned.
Image. I value image. I beg to disagree that I am being discriminatory but coming in for an appointment without combing your hair or not in a business attire is a NO-NO. I always kid my friends that if I can't win them with my brains, I win them with my looks. Do everything to look nice, jab a bit of powder, spray some perfume, iron that shirt, shine those shoes, cause trust me, image spells the difference between getting hired or not. I know a very popular clothing line who simply hires a gorgeous guy in every boutique so as to attract customers only.
English. In the industry that I work in, good command of English separates me from the applicant sitting besides me. I hate it when a question is thrown in English and the response come in the local tongue. Horrible.
CV. Swerve away from the items enlisted in the curriculum vitae. The interviewer knows how to read. I expound on the experiences I had, highlights in my career, inserting inputs I gathered/researched on the Company then correlate with the experiences I had (e.g., I've come across that your Company has started to implement SAP, and I understand how it is difficult to do start-up on the balances as previously experienced in XXX, but this very manageable). This works wonders!
Weapon. CPA or plain accountant? Cum-laude or plain graduate? Experienced in a multinational organization or local group? Humility aside, the advise given by my mama before to come prepared for battle have reaped its rewards.
Different. Do something unique that will retain in the interviewer's mind. Maybe present your CV using an Ipad? (This I plan to do some day! hahahhaha) But be sure it's to your advantage. I clearly recalled an applicant before, and this always works, when asked on how well she knows Microsoft Excel, she gave herself a 9 out of 10 rating, and subsequently I asked her to teach me to do vlook-up and macros. hahaha!! I caught her dead!! Now, that was different, in a bad light :) So be careful.
Enthusiasm. I always end the interviews with 'I look forward to working with you'. This will delight the interviewer that I have embraced the idea to work for the organization I applied in.
Oh well. I hope I was able to enlightened a few of my hushkins :) I am finally seeing the light at the end of the dark tunnel.