Navigating today's tough hiring process requires an upgrade of your interviewing skills.
Employers still have the upper hand in most fields, which means you can expect to be scrutinized extra carefully during the interview process.
In today's high-productivity, low-headcount workforce, companies know "there isn't as much room for failure when it comes to hiring," says Tom Gimbel, CEO of Chicago staffing firm LaSalle Network.
To ensure that you make the best impression:
In a recent OfficeTeam poll, 63% of HR managers said they often conducted video interviews, vs. 14% a year earlier. Increasingly, these are replacing phoners for screening candidates.
If you're asked to meet via Skype, do a dry run. "You don't want to say, 'I'm not sure how to turn on my video,'" says Anne Howard, a recruiter at Lynn Hazan & Associates in Chicago.
Check the connection, acoustics, and lighting; practice looking at the camera and leaving a beat after the interviewer speaks. Install software on a backup device, just in case. And dress as you would for an in-person meeting.
Be honest, kind of
Figure on at least three rounds of interviews for a senior-level position these days, says New York City career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine.
In later meetings, you'll likely be grilled on weaknesses identified earlier or via calls to "backdoor references" (people you didn't list as character witnesses).
Don't lie, but do put a positive spin on the truth. For instance, explain why you were "pulled" to a new job rather than addressing why you were "pushed" from an old one.
Keep your age to yourself
Watch for dated business jargon or tech terms, as they suggest you're not adjusting well to changes in the workplace, says Joey Price, CEO of Columbia, Md., outsourcing firm Jumpstart:HR. Instead, mirror buzzwords the interviewer uses.
In a recent Adecco poll, 33% of hiring managers said they were concerned mature workers would be resistant to younger management. So avoid saying you work with "a bunch of kids," warns Gimbel. "That suggests a disregard for what this generation brings to the table."
Prepare for show-and-tell
With employers placing a premium on productivity, come armed with examples of how you executed relevant projects. Bring backup materials -- preferably in a digital format such as on a tablet or a website, if that's common in your field, says Howard.
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