Interview success starts in 30 seconds

Many an interview is made or lost in the first 30 seconds of the meeting.

Here are some tips I suggest you consider when doing a face-face interview

Non-Verbal Communications Tips – your body speaks loud when you are being interviewed. Non-verbal skills can be as much as 90% of your message.

  • Maintain a good space between you and the interview. Even when meeting in the hall way, make sure you don’t get too close to the interviewer(s). Personal space is important to everyone.
  • Make sure your handshake is appropriate. No “limp fish” or “death defying grip” handshakes. A firm handshake with 2-3 pumps and then release.
  • Make eye contact with your interview.  When you are listening to them talk as well as responding to them, make deliberate eye contact. Of course I don’t suggest you give them a “death stare” either.
  • Be careful of displaying any nervous habits
    • Don’t fidget, it shows that you are unsure of yourself
    • Don’t fiddle with your hair. This shows that you may be nervous
    • Sit up in your chair. Slouching is a sign of other poor habits
    • Don’t chew gum. It’s distracting to the interviewer
    • Crossing your legs is acceptable if you wear a skirt or are sitting in away from a desk. Don’t stretch out or sit back too casually
    • Don’t cross your arms. It can be considered “blocking” or disrespectful to some

Verbal Communications Tips – be sure to convey confidence, enthusiasm, sincerity and interest in what you say

  • Listen carefully and answer directly. Don’t pretend to listen, otherwise you may answer incorrectly
  • Eliminate the use of “ums” and “ahs”.  If you need to pause to answer a question, pause. Don’t fill space with useless filler words
  • Don’t let your mouth run on and on. Answer the questions succinctly. When you have answered the question, stop talking
  • Be comfortable with silence. Let this idle time be used for the interviewer
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. You need to read their unspoken behavior. A raised eye brow or quizzical look on their face may mean you need to modify your answer

Practice your Non-Verbal and Verbal communication skills before you start practicing real life interviewing. This can lead to a memorable meeting vs. a forgettable one, which could lead to a job rather than a declination letter.

Author: tlburriss

I am a Networking Strategist and LinkedIn coach and Trainer. I live by my personal edict, "Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward thru life." I want to help people become better Networkers and better LinkedIn users focused on their business and career goals.