Over the last decade I have witnessed the good, the great and the ugly in the interview room. These tips are so simple, but require just as much thought as your preparation for your verbal responses. Very few think about the importance of body language and how our demeanor can set the tempo for our time in that meeting room. It is certainly not rocket science, but these simple tips hold more power than what many of us realize. Would love to hear your feedback on how you rate the importance of the below suggestions.
When you step through that lift into reception…..
Believe it or not, your interview starts the moment you walk through that lift. Grab your inner confidence and own it. I can’t believe I actually have to write this, but be pleasant to the receptionist. So many times these front of house staff are treated with little respect, (they have more power in decision making than you realize, your entrance will be rated). The receptionist is the Director of First Impressions, it’s your role to set the scene.
Take a seat, sit upright with confidence and put that phone away. You need to treat the pre-interview with as much respect as the interview itself.
The Initial Greeting. Own It.
This is your chance to set the tempo of the meeting. First impressions are priceless, don’t ever underestimate this. Your greeting will set the mood for the rest of the interview. Stand up, respect your interviewer, make great eye contact, smile and give a good strong handshake whist greeting them in the eye. This 3 second act of body language will say many things about you. Not only will you start the interview with a perceived confidence, respect (yes old fashioned I know) goes a long way. Don’t forget to end on a handshake as well.
Have you ever shaken the hand of someone with a weak handshake (kind of like a limp fish). Did they get the job? I would love to know.
Engage with your body – think Beyoncé!
Words only portray part of your persona. Take a deep breath and really relax into the interview (no slouching though, remain upright and fully engaged). Get comfortable in your chair, align your body with theirs (your head facing their head and toe to toe etc). Keep your arms nice and open and learn how to speak with your arms, eyes and hands. Relax, breath and enjoy the interview. You need to remind yourself that they have already seen your resume and that your experience is of interest to them. Those that know me will confirm that my final words are always relax, smile and let your personality shine through.
Do you have any questions? YES ….YES YOU DO !!!
Don’t make the classic mistake of failing your duty of due diligence before the interview. The information is at your fingertips. You need to research the company website, start following their LinkedIn Page and prepare some questions demonstrating the research you have done. Failing to do research prior to the interview can result in a waste of time for both parties and is a sign of disrespect for the company you are interviewing with. If you want the job, tell them!
Do you want the job?
If you do, then tell them! Finish the interview telling them that you have a strong interest in this role, and you are keen to progress. The employer wants you to want the job.
“Now who was that person we interviewed yesterday?”
You do not want to be this person. Leave the interview leaving an impression, employers look for the wow factor!
Clean up your Social Media Sites
So many of you leave your social media sites open. I find it very entertaining at the graduate level. Those Revolver check-ins at 9am on a Monday…. really?! Be careful and lock it down.
It is simple but very powerful. If you have walked out of that interview having a keen interest in the role, follow up with an email thanking them and informing them of your strong interest to keep proceeding.
These tips come from myself, someone who has run thousands of interviews over the years. Would love your comments and feedback and any interesting stories from past experiences.