07/29/2013
 
Posted By: Hayley Brown

What’s the difference between an ordinary, forgettable financial interview and a truly amazing interview that wins employers over immediately? After an informal survey of corporate recruiters, independent recruiters, and hiring managers across multiple fields, we’ve collected a few tips that can help candidates overcome the common obstacles that often hold them back. Here are a few details these gatekeepers wish candidates knew: 
 
 
1. “I see too many candidates who treat phone interviews like phone surveys. Don’t sit there passively answering each question and waiting for the next one. Make a presentation.”
 
Over the phone, recruiters can’t see your engaged facial expression or feel your energetic handshake. They have nothing to evaluate but your words and the tone of your voice. So if you simply feed each answer back to them as if you’re trying to pass an oral exam, you won’t knock their socks off. Instead, treat the phone interview as an opportunity to present your case. Why should you be hired for this job? Come up with a compelling answer to this question long before the phone call occurs and practice it until you can repeat it for any audience.
 
2. “Candidates act as if the job is theirs to lose…As long as they don’t say or do anything atrocious, they seem to feel they’ll step right in the door.”
 
The minimum requirements for the position (like a four year degree or a nicely pressed suit) won’t seal the deal. Every other candidate in the applicant pool will have these things. What can you bring to this position that they can’t? Build your case around that unique detail or qualification. Don’t assume your smile will get you past the gate.
 
3. “Last week I interviewed five candidates for a position, and their qualifications were pretty similar. So in the end, the decision came down to gut instincts. As it happened, only one out of those five candidates sent a hand written thank you note after the interviews were over. Guess who got the job? Details matter.”
 
Show your interviewers that you want the position and you care about the outcome of the interview process. This doesn’t mean you have to grovel or complete an unpaid “work sample” that takes twelve hours of your time…but demonstrate that you’re invested. If you care, so will they.
 
For more on the small—and not so small– distinctions that separate a good interview from a great one, reach out to the financial staffing experts at Fanning Personnel.

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