Take time to prepare well for an interview, nothing beats a good preparation and practice. And of course the little details which matter a lot: Dressing up for an Interview, and of course you must be ready to Sustain a Long Interview in case it turns out to be one.
Your Personality and Confidence
How instantaneously people make decision about you is amazing, the non-verbal aura reaches much more before you utter your first word, make sure you are refreshed and have a great attitude before you even walk into the interview room or even the building where you are to be interviewed.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
Your Non-Verbal Impressions
You are assessed much before you even speak the first word. A substantial amount of your impression is put forward through your body language and other non-verbal skills. If you have prepared or done a role-play earlier it might make you more confident and get your non-verbal skills up to the mark.
Be attentive and give your undivided attention to the interviewer. Avoid distractions and do not check time during the interview; focus completely on the questions and the interviewer.
Do not be apologetic or send negative feelers about being out of the work for the time period that you have been (in case of reentrants). Being confident about your decisions and showing what work-life balance means to you tells a lot about yourself. A like-minded person would appreciate you more as opposed to a candidate with a great work record with no resume gap.
‘Tis the Time to Market Yourself
Don’t assume that the interviewer has gone through your resume and already knows your skills and abilities. In there have been many instances when the interviewer is summoned at the very last moment before the interview and could have just brushed through your resume or even not had the time to look at it before the interview! Take on the responsibility to talk about accomplishments. How well you market yourself and how well you are prepared for the interview will make or break your chances for getting that job.
Also, there is a possibility that the interviewer does not have the right skills interviewing skills or not asking you the questions that steer towards your strengths – it your responsibility to showcase your skills and the reason why they should hire you for the offered position. You can have the edge over the situation if you know how efficiently and confidently you can convince the person on the other side of the table that you are the best fit for the job.
To get the interviewer’s perspective and to be on track during the interview, take the initiative to ask the question, “What are you looking for in a candidate who would be perfect for this position?”
Take on from there and you shall be on the right course.
Present a confident self and others will feel the same about you. If you underestimate yourself, others might demoralize you even more. You are how you project yourself. Your appearance, knowledge and practicing for the interview are the key to having the much required confidence on the day of the interview. The importance of preparation and practice can never be overemphasized.
Some of the actions which display confidence during an interview:
- A firm handshake
- Good eye contact
- Alert posture
- Attentive body language
- Positive acknowledgements
- Gathered / organized accessories
If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.
– Marcus Garvey
Your voice, posture and actions must exude self-confidence and enthusiasm. Right from the first handshake to the making good eye contact, your enthusiasm must reach out to the interviewers. Are you keen enough to have this job or is this “just another interview”?
Women have to learn to be more assertive and more communicative of their skills and achievements. The interview is the time to talk about what you accomplished and it is OK to flaunt your achievements. A modest approach might not work in all cases, you have to showcase your abilities, tell your future employer how you can help them with solutions that you could have used in your day to day life.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Follow-up after the Interview
Read some tips at the previous post titled: Following up after an Interview
Let Go off the Negatives
If you feel you have said or done during the interview which you would rather have not, just let it go. Thinking about it will only shake you miserable or shake your confidence. However, if you feel you can set the records straight don’t just start speaking about it right away it could make the conversation awkward or perhaps get to the wrong direction. If here is a break period and you are meting with the panel / interviewer again you might get a breather for the mind and body to relax and think on exactly what you want to talk about.
But the best advice is to let it go right there. Focus on the positives, focus on your strengths and you can take the interview where you want to – towards the positive flow towards directing your interviewers to what you can do for them.
There is always a possibility of getting back to clarify your point through a follow-up letter or a phone call within 12 hours of your interview.
Recommendation for Books on Interviewing Skills
- Knock ‘Em Dead by Martin Yate (Adams Media, publisher). It offers 200 + interview questions and answers, including what the interviewers are looking for when they ask those questions.