Even if you are fully prepared, and perhaps even experienced when it comes to job hunting, an interview can be daunting. If you are currently looking for a new job, here are some quick ways to improve your interviewing skills.
How to Interview Professionally
1. Be a Good Listener
Learning to be a good listener is like developing any other skill, it will take time and practice to perfect. Brian Maxwell of NewThoughtGeneration.com suggests you show the other person that you are interested in what they are saying, nod and respond when appropriate, and maintain eye contact. Make sure to remove any potential distractions from the conversation, such as your cell phone, and let the speaker know you are getting their full attention. Be sure to watch your emotions and that you are extremely slow to argue or get upset. Remember to keep the interview conversational, pleasant and professional. And remember – the best way to look like you’re listening, is to actually listen.
2. Answer Questions Carefully
You can expect to be asked several behavioral interview questions at your meeting. Know that a lot of the time your interviewer is looking for anecdotal evidence of your abilities through your answers. If you can tell what your interviewer is looking for in an employee you can react and answer those questions in a way that would paint you in a favorable light. An example would be that you need to focus on what makes your approach to solutions unique and valuable, and how you as a person would be valuable to the company.
3. Practice Nonverbal Communication
Show that you are confident in yourself. Sit up straight, make eye contact, and present yourself in a strong manner. Don’t be overbearing, but don’t appear timid or unsure, as this may kill your chances of being hired. Know that confidence can set the mood for the interview and that your employer is usually looking for this trait in all prospective hires. Looking credible in this face-to-face meeting is critical if you want to be considered for the job.
4. Don’t Appear Desperate
Dan Coughlin of TheLadders.com says that “you never want to look desperate. You don’t want to come across as having low standards. You don’t want to come across as though you would go out with just anyone. You want to exude calm confidence. You want to come across as being genuinely interested in getting to know the other person but not ready to launch into a relationship until you get to know him or her better. You want to appear desirable and desired.”
5. Dress for the Job
First impressions count. Wearing appropriate attire and being well-groomed are great ways to show that you are responsible and able to conduct yourself professionally. Wearing a suit even if not required or expected can show that you mean business. Make sure that your hair and facial hair are trimmed; the last thing you want is for your potential employer to think that you don’t care for yourself or pay attention to details, even when it comes to grooming.
Interviewing can be intimidating, but if you follow the above guide you’ll be well on your way to showing any prospective employer that you’re the right man for the job.