By Robin Ryan, Career Coach
There’s no instant replay when you go through an interview. One secret I’ve learned is that your verbal messages are enhanced by body language, facial expressions, voice intonations and props. Your words, physical presence and voice can aid you in landing the job. Here are some tips:
Deal With Nervousness
Important events, where we are judged and need to perform well, can make anyone nervous. A little nervousness can actually aid you in being sharp and improve your performance. But heart-thumping, face-twitching, voice-quivering nervousness will reflect poorly on you and the strong, self-confident “I can solve your problems” impression you are trying to make. To rid your body of nervous tension, just before you go into the interview find a private spot outside or in the restroom, shake both arms and hands and take a few deep breaths. This physical exercise releases tension that has built up and helps calm you. Then, close your eyes and visualize a scene about winning, seeing yourself as the winner This visualization helps get you into a positive, “I can do it” framework.
The night before the interview, organize what you need to bring. Always have extra résumés — yes, they do lose them and misplace them. Bring your list of references. Be sure all addresses and phone numbers are current and accurate. Include any work samples and the list of questions you intend to ask. Have absolute clear directions and if you don’t know where you are going, find out the night before. Being late is a major no-no.
Pass The First Impression
Before you even say hello, the employer’s mind is evaluating attire, hygiene, style, and formulating an opinion as to whether or not you should represent their organization. Even in today’s more casual, dressed-down workplace, appearance still counts a great deal with employers. Tom, a vice president for a bank, told me last week, “I really liked a candidate, but his attire was sloppy and too casual. The CEO said, ?don’t hire him, it’ll get worse once he gets the job.’ So the position went to someone else.” Therefore, dress up. Select a conservative and well-fitting business suit. Greet the interviewer warmly, and offer a firm handshake. Nothing creates a poorer impression than a weak, couple-of-fingers handshake.
A sincere smile sends a warm, confident message. Eye contact is one of the important things employers notice about you. It is crucial and conveys that your message is believable.
Offer Support Documentation
Employers tell me they love to see proof that you can really do their job, so do bring samples of past work you’ve done. This can be copies of a spreadsheet that improved the tracking system, materials you’ve created, or brochures that list you as a panelist or speaker. Show and tell works very effectively, so bring “proof.”
It is frustrating to the interviewer to ask questions that never get answered, so listen closely. Many employers reveal their “hidden agendas,” those few things that really influence their decision. Paying close attention allows you to really address the true needs and land the job.
Source: “60 Seconds & You’re Hired!” by Robin Ryan
Good Luck with your Career Search– “Always remember, be prepared you only get one chance to make a first impression.”