“Be yourself” is common advice we hear from parents and other caring supporters in our lives, yet you may not always show the best version of yourself. In a job interview, this could lead to being passed over or dismissed.
Here are five strategies that will help you convey your strengths, skills and personality in a job interview:
- Mirror the interviewer – This effective job interview technique requires you to pay close attention to the interviewer’s posture, gestures, word choices and demeanour, so that you can subtly take on those same things. This puts the interviewer at ease and helps them feel a connection with you. Be especially aware of how the interviewer is sitting and follow that pattern. If they cross their legs, wait a moment and then cross your legs. Show that you are engaged in the conversation. Look them in the eye and give them your ultimate attention.
- Rein in or ramp up your enthusiasm – Watch your own mannerisms. If you’re an extrovert, watch that you don’t go over the top, flailing your hands all over the place or raising your voice too much. Similarly, if you’re an introvert, act as if you weren’t. Pretend you already have the job and you feel confident in your role. You’re not lying or misleading anyone, you’re simply marketing yourself as the best candidate for this position.
- Express your passion for the job – You shouldn’t be sitting in that chair if you’re not excited about the possibility of this appointment. Showing your excitement will help to gain the interviewer’s trust in your commitment.
- Contribute to the conversation – An interview should be a dialogue. Do your homework so you can speak intelligently about the company and industry, and ask appropriate questions, e.g., “Where do you see me after two years with this company?”. Search for the interviewer on Google and LinkedIn to find common interests, experiences or connections you can comment on in the interview.
- Be patient – The interview may last 20 minutes or it may last an hour and 20 minutes. You may hear back in a week or it might take six weeks. You may be called back for a second interview, or as many as 15 interviews for very top positions. While you’re waiting, continue on with your job search and networking.
A job interview is your chance to move forward in the selection process and prove your viability for an executive appointment. Use these tips and techniques to help a recruiter or hiring manager see your worth.