A job interview consists of more than your answers to particular questions. If hiring managers just wanted to hear your thoughts on certain subjects or drill down on your background, they could simplify the process. They could have you fill out a questionnaire online or stick to a phone conversation.
No, hiring professionals also want to see you. This puts an emphasis on how you present yourself. Hiring managers will gravitate towards candidates with a professional demeanor and winning personality.
What does that mean for you? Well, for starters, spit out your gum and stop fidgeting. You need to tamp down your nervous habits and present a front of calm and collected professionalism.
That’s true even if you happen to be freaking out inside.
With that in mind, here are a few other tips that can help you maintain a professional bearing in your interview. Give up your fidgeting and send out signals that scream, “hire me!”
Sit Up Straight
Watch your posture. Slumping in your seat might accidentally communicate a lack of interest or a lack of confidence. Rather, make it a point to sit up straight and project an enthusiastic, self-assured demeanor.
Make Eye Contact
Interviews are a social activity. It’s important to make a connection. Maintaining eye contact allows you to show interest and build a human bond with your interviewers.
This can get difficult in a remote setting. Still, do your best. Attempt to create the same type of connection, even if you’re not physically in the same room.
Get Rid of the “Ums”
Watch your speech patterns. You want to deliver your ideas in a clear, concise way. At the same time, you don’t want to muddle your message by injecting meaningless phrases, like “um” and “like.”
This might take some practice. Rehearse answers to common interview questions until you cut the unnecessary syllables. Ask a friend to help you or record yourself so that you can experience what your interviewer hears.
Stop Tapping Your Feet
You think you’re controlling your fidgets. Your hands are steady, your back is straight, and you’re looking straight into the interviewer’s eyes. But what about your feet?
Sometimes nervous energy moves downward. Stay alert to your feet and legs. Avoid the annoying habit of tapping your feet.
Turn Off Your Phone
Obviously, you don’t want to jump on your phone and start texting during an interview. However, even if you put it aside, your phone has a way of embarrassing you in other ways.
Just the ding of a new text message can break your concentration or distract your interviewer from what you are saying. Also, it suggests a lack of professionalism. Better to just turn it off entirely and stick it somewhere where it won’t be seen.
The only exception is if you want to take notes using your phone. In that case, let the interviewer know that’s what you’re doing and assure them that you’ve turned texting and call notifications off.
Use Your Best Conversation Skills
An interview should involve a give and take. However, you have to know how to keep the conversational flow going in an easy-going but efficient way. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Wait for Your Turn: Don’t interrupt your interviewer or try to anticipate a question. Listen when they speak. You’ll get plenty of time to respond.
- Control Your Tempo: Don’t talk too fast or too slow. Make sure you’re clearly communicating, while always driving the conversation forward.
- Don’t Try to be too Funny: You want to be likable. But jokes can easily backfire or just fall flat. Better not to push humor too far.
Ready to try out your new interview techniques?
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