A Simple (But Critical) Tip for Navigating the Face-to-Face-Interview

by Stacy Pursell, The VET Recruiter®

There are a number of reasons why the face-to-face interview is one of the most important parts of the hiring process. In fact, it could be argued that it is the most important part of the process.

While that point is debatable, the fact of the matter is that the ultimate fate of your candidacy depends upon how you fare during the interview. If you fare well, your candidacy has a good chance of surviving. If you don’t fare well, then . . . well, you can probably guess what happens.

The importance of the face-to-face interview is precisely why so many articles, blog posts, and white papers are written about the topic. In fact, The VET Recruiter® has also written extensively about the interview, and it’s also a popular topic in our podcast series.

Job seekers and candidates in the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession, like all job seekers and candidates, need every edge they can get in their quest for better employment. It’s with this truth in mind that I’d like to present one simple (but critical) tip for navigating the face-to-face interview.

The many reasons for mirroring

When you visit an employer for an on-site interview, chances are good that you’re going to talk with more than one person. However, you can usually tell which people are the chief decision makers and which ones are not. Obviously, your discourse and dialogue with the decision makers is what will ultimately influence your fate in the hiring process.

The simple tip is as follows: Seek to determine the interaction and socializing style of those interviewing you and mirror that style when communicating with them.

You’ve probably heard the terms introvert and extrovert before. An introvert can feel drained after socializing or is someone who enjoys spending time alone. They may not say a lot. An extrovert, on the other hand, is an outgoing and overly expressive person. No doubt you have met many examples of each during your life, and of course, you may be an introvert or extrovert or a combination of the two.

In a face-to-face interview setting, a problem can arise when the person being interviewed is an extrovert and the person conducting the interview is an introvert, or vice-versa. That’s why it’s imperative to ascertain the type of person with whom you’re interacting and made adjustments accordingly.

Below are four reasons why it’s a good idea to mirror the people with whom you converse during the face-to-face interview:

#1—You want to put the other person at ease.

If you’re an extrovert and the other person is an introvert, you might come across as “too strong.” This could make the other person uncomfortable. That’s the last thing you want. Identifying and getting on the other person’s wavelength will help to create an atmosphere conducive to meaningful interaction. This sets the pace and sets the tone for the conversation and serves as the ideal starting point for the interview. It can also be referred to as “getting off on the right foot.”

#2—You want to make a connection with the other person.

Talking with someone and actually connecting with them are two different things. This is why #1 on our list is so important. If the other person is not comfortable with the conversation, then it will be very difficult to make a connection with them. That’s because they’ll be more focused on how uncomfortable they are instead of what you’re actually saying.

#3—You want to communicate effectively with the other person.

This is akin to “speaking another person’s language.” If the other person is outgoing and likes to “chit-chat,” so to speak, then it’s okay for you to do the same. However, if the other person is more reserved and interested in getting down to business, then you probably want to skip the “chit-chat” or the “small talk.” Remember: there is an important exchange of information that occurs during an interview. It’s in your best interests to make sure that exchange is as good and as effective as it can possibly be.

#4—You want to be memorable.

This is a crucial component of any interview. You certainly don’t want those who are interviewing you to forget about you after you’ve gone. What you want is to instill in those conducting the interview the desire for the conversation to continue, even when it’s time for the conversation to end. That’s how you know that you’ve nailed the interview.

When you put the person at ease, when you make a connection with the person, and when you effectively communicate with them, you are much more likely to be memorable after you’ve left. And that will bring you one step closer to receiving an offer of employment.

Taking the next steps

So . . . how do you accomplish all of this? Well, investing in continuing education by conducting research regarding different personality types and how to mirror people is one way. As many of you know, I’m a big proponent of continuing education. You’re never too old or too successful to stop learning. And as the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” The more you practice this type of identification and mirroring technique, the more successful you will be.

And of course, if you’re working with an Animal Health Recruiter or Veterinary Recruiter in your job search, they should already have valuable information for you. That information includes the personality type of the hiring manager and other people within the organization with whom you may be speaking during your on-site visit. As such, the recruiter can prepare you for what to expect and how to conduct yourself during the interview. This will give you a valuable head-start on the proceedings and increase your overall chances for success.

This is yet another way that you as a professional can leverage the knowledge, expertise, and resources of a recruiter to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace so that you can grow your career the way you’ve always wanted to.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary Professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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