By Amalya Teitelbaum, Business Editor & Manager
In business, there is a single million dollar question: what should I do so businesses will hire me? Well, there are several key steps to take so the hiring department will put a checkmark next to your name. While there are several ways to do this, the clearest path is twofold: presenting yourself in the best way and explaining why you are the best candidate for the position.
The presentation of who you are as a person and who you have the potential to be as an employee involves several skills. Physical presentation will be what hiring managers or departments first notice, and arguably, therefore is most important. A large part of the physical presentation is flexible considering that the best way to present yourself can depend on the position and field you are applying for. You can dress in flamboyant colors and patterns in your outfit to portray the qualities of a kindergarten teacher. However, when applying for an attorney position at an exclusive law firm, for instance, anything but a suit would be nearly unquestionable. There is an undeniable link between your physical presentation, and how the hiring manager perceives your ability to excel at the open position.
While one’s dress is certainly a major factor in physical presentation, another important piece is your facial expressions. A hiring manager is not making a decision simply based on your resume or years of work experience. They are relying on your facial expressions to tell them the rest of your story. You should walk in with an inviting expression and should be engaged while the hiring manager is speaking.
Part of one’s presentation also involves verbal ability and body language. A candidate must have an adequate professional vocabulary and speak clearly, slowly, and confidently. They must make appropriate eye contact while retaining a professional yet relaxed posture. Avoid being jittery and shaky, and keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. To reduce nerves, you can prepare answers for typical interview questions and practice correcting one’s posture. Perhaps practice interviewing with other friends, family members, or others within your preferred field and gauge your skill set based on your verbal ability and body language. A candidate wants to ensure that their body language tells the same story as their resume.
Once one nails the physical presentation interview aspect, it is time to move on to the most important information in the hiring manager’s eyes: why in the world should they hire you? The most obvious way to explain why is by having a fantastically detailed resume that is appropriately geared to fit the skills of the particular job. The hiring department is not looking to hire a piece of paper, but they are looking to hire a qualified well-rounded candidate. An excellent way to prove your qualifications is by bringing real-world examples that show your skillset, such as times when you have failed and overcome said failure or have taken leadership positions in group settings. One’s resume is merely an outline, the interview is the place to elaborate and prove the credibility of that outline.
Also, do your research. One of the best things a candidate can do is show that they have gathered information on the company and position. Does the company have a list of values? Does the company have a detailed list of the responsibilities of the position, or is that something a candidate should be asking about at the conclusion of the interview? Take a glance at the company’s website, take a look at how they function, speak to others who have worked in that position or company. And most importantly have questions to ask at the conclusion of the interview, especially ones that build on what the hiring manager stated during the interview process.
The million-dollar question at first glance seems to require a million-step answer. By following this twofold path, however, anyone can gain the ability to prove their qualifications and ultimately get a job.