Most of us know the advantage of choosing our words wisely, but this can be difficult in a high-pressure situation like an interview. Somehow, the carefully chosen words either don’t sound right or they come out in a jumble. There is something that can change this dynamic. A shift in mindset and preparation can make it easier to meet expectations and feel better about how you’re presenting yourself in a job interview.
Most people’s lives are busy. When things get hectic, the niceties get left behind. Keep this in mind when it comes to communicating with a recruiter over email, on the phone or in-person. Start any conversation or correspondence with a dose of gratitude.
If you’re not sure what to say, keep it simple. The simple act of thanking someone for making the time in their busy day and offering a handshake and smile goes a long way.
Reading the Room
Job interviews amp up the pressure and everyone handles pressure differently. For some, being uncomfortable makes them talk more while others suddenly can’t think of anything to say. In these situations, it can be helpful to read the situation. Note how the interviewer is responding to your questions and allow a natural pause for the other party to collect their thoughts. Resist the urge to deliver your carefully prepared information in one big swoop. By knowing what you want to say beforehand, you’re prepared to adjust with the interviewer’s mood and questions.
A job interview is a finite amount of time to demonstrate your interest and knowledge in the position. It goes without saying it’s critical to do your homework in advance. Any question that could’ve been answered via Google or a visit to the company’s website and social media sites, is a red flag you didn’t do your research in advance.
Asking good questions, shows that you’re interested in the specifics. Employers look for job candidates who want to add value to a role and to the company. Merely having the skills is not enough. Go in prepared with questions. Ask about current challenges, how the person hired could help and how the candidate can demonstrate success.
Doing your research and having a genuine interest in the job opening and your ability to perform the role goes a long way. Interviewers are looking at fit for culture as much as the skills the role demands. Use an interview to demonstrate how you approach collaboration, contribute to a team and communicate. Research can help dovetail these messages but don’t lose sight of being yourself. The right fit is never forced, and this is recognized by the candidate and the interviewer. Hiring is a two-way street that ultimately ends up in agreement between the person wanting the job and a company wanting you on board.