10 Easy Ways to Nail Your Interview (Without Saying a Word)
Interviews are stressful. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first one or your hundredth, selling yourself can be a daunting process. Walking into the interview room with your head down and offering a limp handshake is a great way to make sure the employer starts thinking about the next candidate. How you look, act, and think can help swing the outcome of the meeting in your favour. If you want to nail your interview, you need to act the right way.
Luckily, science is on your side. Using certain methods, it is possible to make an interviewer like you before you say a thing. The subliminal techniques below can help give you the edge in the interview that will leave a lasting impression. When you combine them with your awesome interview answers, you should have no problem securing that job.
Get Into Your Interview State of Mind
To get to the interview stage you have most likely already sent in your resume. So, if you’ve been asked to come in and meet the hiring team, it’s a pretty safe bet that they are probably fairly pleased with your qualifications. Congratulations, you’ve passed the first hurdle! They now want to see what type of person you are. They’re looking to meet the person behind the resume. For this, you want to go into the interview with the right mindset – one that will win over the interviewer and keep you from stressing out.
The main thing you are doing in an interview is selling yourself as an employee. Apart from your skills, education, and talents, a major aspect employers look to assess is the attitude that you will bring into their workplace. Employers are much more likely to want to hire someone who is positive than someone who isn’t. People who smile when they meet someone for the first time are more likely to be remembered. Being positive can also help make you look more confident and capable.
The interview is not the time to be self-deprecating or put yourself down. You want to go in there thinking, “I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t think I have the potential so this is my chance to prove I’m more than capable.” If you are thinking positively, it will affect the way you respond to the questions you’re asked and help you give a better answer.
Confidence is appealing but sometimes it can be hard to feel confident when you have to sit in front of someone who you know is assessing you and have to prove yourself. However, the odds are that the interviewer is looking for an excuse to hire you rather than knock you back. They want to be swept off their feet by the perfect employee. You have to believe in yourself and think of yourself as the perfect candidate they’re waiting for. Try not to let the interviewer see how anxious you are, even if you feel like a nervous wreck. Keep your head up, back straight, and smile. If the nerves are getting to you, practice a few breathing exercises to try to slow your speeding heart rate down before going in. The old adage of “fake it ‘til you make it” definitely applies here.
Remember, out of all the applications they received, yours was one of the few that impressed them enough to want to meet you. You must be doing something right. If all else fails, admit you’re a little more nervy than usual because you’re really excited about the opportunity to work for (insert company name) — this helps show you’re human and you’re eager, and there’s nothing wrong that either!
Be an Extrovert (at least for the interview)
A study in Germany revealed that people were more likely to find extroverts more likeable. Whilst this doesn’t mean that introverts are out of luck, it does mean that they may have to try a little harder to be outgoing in the interview process. Being a little louder and talking more than you usually would can help you appear more confident and make the interviewer feel more positively towards you.
Be a Somebody, Not Just Some Body
Your resume can reveal a lot about you to an employer but it is almost impossible for them to get an idea of the real you. An interview is your opportunity to show them that you are more than the words on your resume and you are somebody they would want to work with. The best way for you to find the right job for you is to be yourself. The interview is as much a way for you to assess the employer, company and team as it is for them to assess you. So, if you’re being your best self and you can walk out of the interview feeling comfortable that you were the same person your family and friends love and appreciate, you simply can’t do anything more. If it’s a fit, you’ll get the job. If you don’t, a better one is always around the corner.
Have A Firm Handshake
A French study has shown that when people briefly touch someone they become more receptive to them. While it is probably not a good idea to caress the interviewer, it does relate to the idea about projecting confidence and comfort with your body. A handshake is the perfect opportunity to use this phenomenon to your advantage. A great way to get the interview off on the right foot is with a firm handshake that communicates confidence. While you don’t want to shake hands like a dead fish, you also won’t make a great impression by crushing the hand of the interviewer. Just try and match their pressure, look them in the eyes, and smile.
Maintain Eye Contact
You can show the interviewer that you’re interested and honest by making eye contact. If you are nervous, a pro tip is to look at the space between the interviewer’s eyebrows. That way you give them the impression that you’re maintaining eye contact whilst having a spot that is easy to concentrate on.
Don’t Be A Statue
People who speak energetically and use self-assured movements are more likely to come across well to the people they meet. Think about two people giving a speech. One person has their hands in their pockets and is staring at their shoes. The other is moving around and looking at the audience. You are more likely to enjoy and connect with the active speaker who is moving around.
You can use this technique in an interview by adding some energy to your hand movements and some inflection to your responses. Moving your hands to provide emphasis to your story is different to nervously fidgeting (it also helps release nervous tension). Try to keep nervous movements like sharing your foot or playing with your hair to a minimum while you’re sitting in front of the employer.
Planning Ahead For Your Interview
There are lots of things that you can do before the interview which can demonstrate you have awesome employee potential. While the other tips above can help to turn the interview in your favour, a bit of preparation can give you an advantage before you even walk in the door. Preparation will also help ease any nervous anxiety that may hinder your performance.
Preparing for the interview can give you an extra edge on the competition. You can reveal a lot about the type of employee you are by being prepared. Things like showing up early to the interview and being prepared by following any directions given beforehand. If you were told to bring a copy of your qualifications to the interview for instance, but you didn’t, you have told the employer one of two things: either you haven’t got the qualifications or you can’t follow instructions. Neither assumption is going to help you get the job. Researching the company and preparing answers to some likely questions can also help you feel more relaxed and confident before the interview.
Dress for Success
Dressing well shows that you are taking the interview process seriously and respect the employer. In saying that, don’t overdress as you might appear out of touch with the position you’re going for. When you choose your clothes, you want to wear something that allows you to be neat and tidy. Prepare a go-to outfit for interviews or, at the very least, prepare one the night before. That way you’re not spending the time before the interview rushing around, stressing out trying to find the perfect shirt or dress.
Sleep and Eat Well Before Your Interview
Being well rested can brighten your appearance and help convey to the interviewer how confident you are. Having a meal beforehand can help improve your concentration which can help you succeed in the interview. If you do eat or have some coffee to help you focus, make sure you brush your teeth afterwards. The last thing you want is to realise you had something stuck in your teeth the whole time.
Be a Morning Person (Or at least mid-late Morning Person)
If you are given a choice, try and schedule your interview during the morning. Not only will you be more rested and attentive, your interviewer will be as well so they’re likely to be more receptive to you than they might be after a full day of interviews. You can save yourself a lot of stress as well by meeting with the employer in the morning. Rather than worry about it all day, you can go, knock their socks off, and then spend the rest of the day knowing it’s over.
Going first can also give you an advantage over your competition. When you are the first one the employer sees, you can set the bar for everyone else. This can give you an advantage as the employer will then compare everybody else to how you went. At the very least, if you go in the morning you won’t need to worry about whether or not you have been literally sweating bullets all day.
Have Your Eggs in a Few Baskets
Being positive and confident is good but nervous thoughts can always creep in as the interview gets closer. Preparation is one of the bests way to stop yourself from stressing out before the interview. Applying for a couple of jobs that you think would be a good fit for you can also take the pressure off you and make the interview process feel a little less “do or die” because it’s not your only opportunity. The more interviews you attend, the more comfortable you will feel and the better idea you will have of how to answer the questions.
How Do You Think You Went?
Job seekers would love to hear more about their performance from employers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen that regularly. What you can do however is review your own performance and try to identify areas that went well and where you think you could improve
After each interview, take a 20-30 minute time-out to reflect on how it went.
- Write down a few of the questions you were asked while they’re still fresh in your head
- Think about what they may have been trying to assess by asking them
- What did you answer well?
- What could you have added or said that would improve your answer?
- Consider what aspects you would chance for next time?
Before your next interview you can review your notes and remind yourself of what you want to improve on. This can also be a good confidence boost before you go to the next interview. You can see what worked last time and what you might need to tweak.
If you’re in the interview and muff a question, just take a breath and prepare for the next one. No single question or even a single interview will determine your career.
Use that breath to recollect yourself. That pause could be the difference between you spiralling and rambling on with a bad answer and you thinking clearly and nailing your interview.
Give Yourself the Best Chance Possible to Nail Your Interview
An interview is one of your best opportunities to give a good impression to the employer. Of course, it matters what you say and how you answer an employer’s difficult questions. Using these non-verbal tips though can dramatically improve your interview chances. You can show your personality and how you would be a good fit for the company.
It’s a stressful situation no doubt but these tips will help to give you an advantage and get that one step closer to a brand new job.