Too many times, a job interview starts the same, standard, terrible way.
But it doesn’t have to.
Interviewer: “Hi this is the call for the position you applied for, how’s it going today?”
Applicant: “Good and you?”
Interviewer: “Good, thanks … Okay let’s start the interview for the position.”
After this common introduction, both interview participants know nothing about each other. All the interviewer knows is that the applicant is going for the position.
I have an easy fix to opening the interview conversation. All you have to do is be yourself.
Here’s how I started a phone interview a few weeks ago for an ESPN internship. I brought up what was genuinely on my mind about the day and it sparked an amazing, ice-breaking, friendly conversation.
Interviewer: “Hi I’m calling for Carmine about the ESPN production internship, how’s it going today?
Interviewer: “Who do you have in your bracket?”
We talked about the men’s college basketball tournament and debated our picks to win it all for five minutes. She even brought up my Scranton’s head women’s basketball coach, who she happened to know. And I announced all the team’s home games the past three seasons.
There was an instant connection.
Before talking about the internship position at all, we knew a lot about each other on a personal level. We made several jokes and broke the ice. Now we were able to talk openly about the internship.
Since we had a common ground, we had a new respect for one another. She viewed my qualifications for the position in a positive way because she found out I knew sports and had a likable personality.
All from simply opening the interview with casual conversation.
So how did it turn out?
The internship interview turned into her asking me to apply for a full-time position at the company.
My qualifications were obviously more important in the interview’s success, but opening the conversation in a casual, friendly and genuine way set up a positive vibe for the rest of the interview.
Even if you can’t find a direct conversation starter like mine, you can easily start the interview with what you did or plan on doing that day.
Interviewer: … how’s it going today?
Applicant: “Pretty good, busy day with school projects and my club involvement, but I’m really excited for the call, thanks for your consideration.”
If you actually tell people how you’re doing in a job interview, you will have something interesting about your life to talk about right way. By creating an initial personal connection with the interviewer, you will be unique.
This simple strategy to opening the interview will take you far both personally and professionally.
Practice your interview skills and apply for jobs today!