So you finally made it to the ‘hot seat’ of your job of choice! No matter how many times you may have secured a job interview, you’ve almost always felt like a bundle of nerves. During the course of the interview, appropriate behaviour on your part is as important as your knowledge and skill set. Even if you happen to be armed with a ‘killer’ cover letter and resume along with tons of degrees, the manner in which you conduct yourself at an interview stands to be the final test. After all, the first impression is the last impression when it comes to most aspects of life, including a job interview. Here are some important tips to follow if you want to make a good impression and bag that dream job.
First impressions count
It’s important to look your best at your interview. Be sure to stick to formal or formal or semi-formal wear with neatly-styled hair. It’s best to arrive at your interview a good 15 minutes in advance giving you ample time to recheck your appearance and to calm those nerves!
Self-confidence is the most important trait you can bring with you to an interview. Since you might get no more than 15 minutes to convince your potential employer that you are the perfect person for the position, displaying a good level of confidence will only increase your chances of bagging the job. When introducing yourself, step forward and firmly shake hands using your right hand, even if you are left-handed. Looking your interviewer in the eye, introduce yourself with a gentle smile. From the time you introduce yourself right through the interview, the demonstration of confidence is important.
Body language matters
A person’s body language can tell the interviewer a lot about that person. In fact, your overall behaviour, posture, facial expressions and tone will give off their own vital signs. Sit down only after the interviewer has proceeded to do so or asks you to take a seat. It’s important to assume a good posture because slouching can make you look like you are completely disinterested in the job. If you don’t know what to do with your hands, keep them folded on your lap, indicating that you know that manners make a person. Avoid fidgeting with your pen or your fingers, as this is a sign of nervousness and low self-esteem.
During the interview, be sure to maintain eye contact with the interviewer. It’s a common notion that failure to maintain a comfortable level of eye contact indicates that a person is lying or lacks a comfortable level of confidence.
Use a polite tone while talking to your interviewer and never interrupt your interviewer. It’s important to wait till he or she completes a sentence or question before you begin to respond or ask a question.
When the interviewer poses a question, it’s best to refrain from an instant response; you might end up rambling on and going off topic if you don’t take a few seconds to compose your response. If you cannot understand a question, don’t hold yourself back from requesting for it to be repeated. Be completely honest during the interview. Even the smallest fib is most likely to be spotted by your interviewer, especially since body language tends to be the main giveaway.
After the interviewer has finished drilling you about your past experience and why you would be perfect for that particular job, you should proceed to ask job-related questions, such as working days and timings. It’s best to avoid negotiating the salary during the first round of the interview. Even if the company is known to conduct single interviews, avoid haggling for a better salary at this stage. After all, you can’t be sure whether you secured the job or not!
It’s important to thank the interviewer once the interview is done. You may want to drop in a statement like, “Look forward to hearing from you,” before exiting. A follow-up call after a week has become common-place in today’s fast-paced job scene. Ring the HR department of the company if you wish to know the results of your job interview, but refrain from ringing senior-level employees of the company.
While it is very important that you avoid getting so uptight about body language that you cannot focus on your verbal responses during the interview, try to become more aware of your behaviour. This will help you keep your mannerisms in check to some degree. Above all, it’s important to remember that you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. So give it your best!
Dos & Don’ts at Job Interviews
• Dress appropriately and neatly
• Switch your mobile phone to ‘silent’ mode
• Have a gentle smile on your face
• Bring along an extra copy of your CV for the interviewer
• Carry yourself well with a good dose of confidence
• Acknowledge the interviewer when you are told something; a blank face shows that you are not paying attention or that you are clueless
• Wearing a strong perfume
• Crossing your hands at your chest (it’s an indicator of being self-defensive)
• Looking away from the interviewer while talking (it’s a sign that you are lying or have low self-confidence)
• Drumming the table with your fingers and tapping your feet
• Scratching yourself or chewing your nails
• Asking for your CV back (carry an extra copy)
Volume 1 Issue 5