When we interview someone at Gorilla, we look for a lot of things. While experience, smarts and sincerity are always at the top of the list, we also always want to see a candidate that makes an effort to talk to everyone in the room.
When you talk to everyone in the interview room, it communicates that you care and that you actually want to know everyone in the room – something that’s really important in a small company. When you’re interviewing, you’re trying to convince a group of people to let you into their very exclusive club. You’re not a just a future coworker, you’re also a potential lunchmate, confidant, friend and hey, maybe even ping-pong partner. So in your interview, be sure to make it a point to talk to everyone in the room.
Here are a few tips on how you can make sure you do just that.
Do your research
Before the day of the interview, know who is going to be there. It’s typically simple to find this out – just ask. Most companies will be transparent and share this information.
If there are only going to be one or two folks – great, you’ve got an easy go of it for now. If there are more, well, that’s great too, as it means the company is at least interested enough to spend significant company time and resources on you. Think of it as an honor!
No matter the number, take the names and do your research. You don’t need to have memorized talking points, but a few notes to aid in conversation and small talk is really useful (and impressive). With LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, company “About Us” pages, etc. – it’s expected that you’ll have some thoughts in order.
Work the room
At a Gorilla interview, typically one person asks the majority of the questions, and others sit in on the interview as back-up. This can make for a slightly difficult situation, as you want to answer the person who is asking you the question, but you don’t want to alienate the others in the room by never talking to them.
In this (common) situation, start by addressing the person who asked the question, then, like someone giving a speech or addressing a group, make eye contact with others as you answer the question. This will be both impressive and inclusive – and will help you score points in the interview room.
Now it’s your turn
There’s always a part of the interview when you’re asked if you have any questions. Yes, yes, yes – you always have questions. And no, no no – “you already covered them” is never an answer.
This is when they find out if you did your research and if you came in armed with questions for those in the room. Try to have at least one question that engages each person in the room. If a surprise visitor is thrown in at the last minute, that’s okay. That’s where you default to something less position specific like “What has your experience been like working here?”
It’s not over after the interview
You’re not out of the woods once they finally show you to the door. In fact, now is when you can really make a great impression. Personalized, individualized thank you notes are always a good idea, as well as LinkedIn connection requests. Add a personal note, mention something that you discussed in person. You’ll be remembered. And being remembered is one of the first steps in being hired.
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