How To Act In A Job Interview

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When asking for advice or input for a job interview, one common suggestion is to ‘just be yourself’. This is good advice but check which “self” you are introducing. I believe my most comfortable self is the one in sweatpants, fuzzy socks, and a good read. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to walk into a job interview wearing loungewear! The truth is, we usually match our ‘selves’ to our environment and the people in it. When interviewing, your environment and the interviewer can be a bit more formal, even aloof. Although it may feel awkward and uncomfortable, stay true to who you are. Keep your language and tone professional while maintaining eye contact.  You can communicate your style and personality through the stories and examples you tell. It’s important for interviewers to see that you are relatable and enjoyable to work with. The suggestions below will make it easier for you to express excitement and enthusiasm, even when it’s not reciprocated.

– Be sure to communicate the parts of the position that you do like the most.

– Don’t assume your interviewers know how much you want the job. Comment on what you specifically like or what impresses you about the company. You can specifically state why you are interested in the job at the end of your introductory question, “Tell Me About Yourself” or as you are shaking hands to leave.

– Make sure you communicate your skills and value, objectively and clearly. Do not downplay or joke about your strengths. The interviewer is looking for confidence and competence.

– Are you a good listener? Then be that in your interview. Often, nerves can dominate causing candidates to ramble or interrupt. I like to refer to the interview conversation as a ping-pong game. It’s not the same informal, unstructured conversation you would have with your friends, where everyone is free to interject. In an interview, one person (usually) talks at a time while the other waits until that person is finished. Don’t feel you have to fill every pause between comments, you can take that time to take a deep breath! Oh, one more critically important way to express your interest? Make sure you immediately send-off thank you emails – to every person you interviewed with. It seems like a small gesture, but it carries a big weight!



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