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.