What they’re not telling you in an interview

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Ever heard the saying “there’s more than meets the eye”? This absolutely applies to job interviews. Even if an employer seems totally upfront about what they’re looking for when interviewing for a role, there’s probably more going on in the background that you don’t know about.
 

If you’ve been invited along to an interview, here are a few things that the employer might not be telling you.

First impressions matter

It’s undeniable that first impressions matter. Most employers will form their overall impression of you within the first 30 seconds of the interview, so it’s important to get off on the right foot.
 
You can rehearse your interview question responses until the cows come home; but if you’ve already tainted the employer’s view of you, it’s going to be difficult to recover from there even if you deliver perfect answers.
 
To help you avoid making a first impressions blunder, here are a few tips that will help you come across in a good light from the get-go:
 
  • Arrive on time – The employer wants to know that you’re organised and reliable. If you can’t be organised enough to show up to your interview on time, you can almost guarantee that you won’t get the role.
  • Dress professionally – Even though many dealership environments are more casual than a corporate office environment, it’s still important to dress professionally (especially for a first interview). Arriving at your interview in a polo top when the entire interview panel is wearing suits isn’t ideal.
  • Think about your body language – You want to come across as friendly and confident, so make sure you stand tall, make eye contact, and remember to smile.
  • Greet every person in the room politely – While a firm handshake was standard in a pre-Covid environment, today a friendly nod and quick ‘hello’ or ‘nice to meet you’ to each person in the room should suffice.
What they’re not telling you in an interview

They’re looking for more than just experience

Experience is always important to an employer and for some roles it’s non-negotiable; however, it’s not everything.
 
Employers not only want to know that you’re capable of performing the role, but they also want to know that you’ll fit in with the rest of the team. More and more employers are listing ‘cultural fit’ as one of the most important traits to look for when hiring, with the Harvard Business Review even citing cultural fit as “the glue that holds an organisation together”.
 
Whether you’re applying for an agricultural, construction equipment, material handling or truck dealership, every employer wants to know that you’ve got the right personality for the role. They want to know that you can work well with your colleagues and be able to build rapport with customers. Employers need to know that your values are aligned with that of the dealership, and that you’ll uphold the same ethical practices as what is expected.
 
In the interview, it’s important to be personable, friendly and show them what you’re really like—after all, you want it to be a good fit just as much as they do! Even though it can be difficult to keep your nerves at bay, it’s important to try to relax and be yourself so the employer can get a good gauge of you and whether you’ll be a good fit for the dealership.

They may already know a few things about you

Gone are the days when you could walk into an interview with an entirely blank slate. In today’s connected world, there’s a good chance that a prospective employer has done some prior research and had a look at your online social media profiles.
 
While it’s highly unlikely you’ve posted anything incriminating on your LinkedIn profile, there may be things on your other social media pages you’d rather a prospective employer didn’t see.
 
Doing things like choosing appropriate profile pictures, avoiding posting anything that could be considered offensive or discriminatory, and setting your profiles to private to limit the amount of content an employer can view is always a smart move.

There may be underlying issues within the dealership

Job interviews are an opportunity for both employers and employees to sell themselves to the other party. The employer will most likely want to present their dealership as a desirable place to work—but there may be issues they’re not sharing with you.
 
Low employee satisfaction, poor working conditions, a challenging staff member or a damaged reputation are all things which could all be affecting the dealership and leading to high turnover, forcing the dealership to look for new hires to replace disgruntled employees.
 
While it’s impossible to know what’s really happening within a dealership, asking questions like “Why did the previous employee leave?” or “What are the biggest challenges the dealership is facing at the moment?” could help you uncover some more about what’s really going on within the dealership.

They may not be interviewing as many candidates as you think

It’s not uncommon for employers to receive thousands of applications for a role in a competitive job market. The thought of being up against so many other candidates can be disheartening—but you shouldn’t make assumptions.
 
It’s important to remember that interviewing takes time and resources away from the business and employers want to conduct as few interviews as possible. The fact that you’ve even been invited to an interview is an excellent indication that you’re in with a good chance of securing the role.
 
You’ve already ticked the boxes in terms of qualifications and experience, now it’s up to you to back it up with a great attitude and some real-life examples of how you’ve applied your skills in the past. In many cases, you could even be the leading candidate and they’re ready to hand you the job if you can perform well in the interview.
 
Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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