One Big Mistake Job Seekers Make In Interviews That Kills Their Chances Of Getting The Job
There is this bizarre thing that candidates do in an interview that significantly hurts their chances and impedes on their ultimate success. You could be the most outgoing person in the world, but when it's time for the interview, you present a stone-faced stare, lose all of your personality and act like a cold cyborg. It gets worse when you give that squinty-eyed suspicious glare to the interviewer and resist revealing any hint of emotions. No offense to the men out there, but you dudes do this all the time.
This is a common challenge that people confront. They possess the requisite skills required for their dream job, but lack the ability or know-how to communicate effectively and connect with the interviewer.
I’d like to offer some insider tips for those who lack the social graces, interpersonal skills, are introverts or misanthropists.
Here is a cheat sheet on how to communicate more effectively:
Before you do anything else, you need to become an expert on the company you’re interviewing with, the demands of the role and stalk the interviewers online. By conducting extensive homework, you’ll feel very comfortable and confident with the acquired knowledge. Practice an elevator pitch, which will enable you to elaborate why your background and skills are perfect for the job. The nerves and anxiety will dissipate, as you will be super prepared. Instead of fearing questions, now you will look forward to receiving them, as you can't wait to share the answers that you’ve prepared and practiced. Having this confidence goes a long way in making you comfortable and relaxed in the interview.
When you meet the interviewer, shake their hand firmly (but don’t squish it or be too sweaty), make eye contact, smize (if you’re not familiar with this term, it means to smile with your eyes; you’ll notice models do this all the time) and offer a warm and genuine smile.
Thank the person by saying, “I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you.” From there, compliment the company by stating, “I’ve always admired your company, its reputation for supporting social causes and the wonderful products you make.” Then, ask, “How are you today?” You’ve now established yourself as a polite, appreciative, articulate and warm person. A normal reaction from the interviewer would be to like you at first impression. She will then start the interview with a positive perspective, which you will build upon.
As you chat, use positive action words. This will make you sound assertive, confident, in control and desirable. Show enthusiasm and excitement when answering questions. The trick is to come across believable and not as if you’re putting on an act. Demonstrate genuine human emotions, even if you don’t have them.
Avoid using any negative words, complaints or bad mouth your current or former employers and co-workers. Please don’t scowl, cross your arms, lean in uncomfortably close to the interviewer, point your figure in their face, incessantly tap your foot or squirm around in your seat. If you are burnt out from prior fruitless interviews, don’t let it show. You may be angry and feel hurt by your current situation, but bury the emotions for now.
Never answer questions with one-word answers. Elaborate upon your responses, but don't drone on too much. Watch the interviewer's body language and facial expressions to determine if you are being long-winded or not adding enough details to her prompts. When you ask a question, make it open-ended. This requires the manager to elaborate instead of just saying “yes” or “no.”
“What made you decide to work here?”
“Why is this job open?”
“What did you see in my résumé that resonated with you?”
These prompts will push the interviewer into a conversation. The more she talks, the greater she’ll be involved and like you. The more invested she becomes, the interviewer will then talk herself into believing that you are a top candidate. She will rationalize that you must be since she has taken so much of her time sharing information with you.
When the person is speaking, maintain reasonable non-creepy eye contact (as it is not a staring contest), nod your head to show that you are listening and use her name every once in a while. Mirror the manager’s style. If she is a slow deliberate talker and you are a fast, non-stop, chatty person, understand that you have to slow your tempo down; otherwise, she’ll feel overwhelmed.
The bottom line is this: nobody wants to hire an emotionless, cold, detached and miserable robot. Most hiring managers desire to work with someone who is smart, prepared, articulate, has a little personality and would be a pleasure to have join the company. If you are able to demonstrate these traits and also possess the right talent for the job, then your chance of getting an offer skyrockets.