Interviews can sometimes seem like a minefield. Indeed, it is important to remember that the interview process is a comedy of manners. Just like any other social interaction, there are things you should and shouldn’t say and do. You want to stand out from the crowd, but not at any cost. At the end of an interview, you want people to see you as professional, courteous and a good person to work with.
Taking the time to consider your attitude and body language could be all the difference between that new job you’ve been after and another month of filling out applications. Pay close attention, and make sure you make the right lasting impression on your prospective employer.
This should go without saying. Don’t look ostentatious; instead, dress in a professional manner that suits the job you’re going for. Taking the time to consider your outfit can make sure you stay in their mind. Remember that human beings respond to colour and tone and play it to your advantage. Red dresses or ties, can radiate confidence and a bold attitude, and really help you stand out.
First impressions are important, so try to hit the ground running. From the receptionist to the final interviewer, always be quietly confident. Introduce yourself and prepare a few words of light conversation. This will not be the time to launch into any long-winded anecdotes - keep it short and sweet. Memorable is good, but know your audience. It can be easy to alienate or offend people by mentioning the wrong thing. Politics and religion are best not broached.
There can be an urge to ‘act above it’, and try to let them come to you. That is the wrong urge. Appearing bored or disinterested is not the way to get hired. This isn’t high school anymore, so give due attention. When someone is speaking, make eye contact and respond. It helps to communicate confidence and a willingness to understand. Really listen to people and it can make all the difference.
It’s no secret that people like a positive workplace. A positive attitude at an interview may seem obvious, but it needs to be correctly deployed. Singing hosannas over every little thing is not going to do you any good, but keeping a strong positive influence in your answers will show your interviewer that you have the right attitude to problem solving and tackling issues.
Lynn Taylor, the author of Tame Your Terrible Boss told Forbes magazine last year that “hiring managers appreciate an engaged conversation and value an inquisitive mind”. Remember those words. Too many people treat interview questions as a chance to give out planned sound bites or the bare minimum of what is asked of them. Engage in the conversation, and be considered in your approach. Show your prospective employer that you’re smart and switched-on, an asset to any team. It might be your number they’ll be calling next week.
Post kindly sponsored by Ad-Rank Media
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