A third of 2000 surveyed employers said they know within 90 seconds of a job interview whether they’ll hire a candidate or not. What is behind this? The impressions you give through your body language. Studies suggest that what you say verbally makes up for just 7% of how you are regarded, with nonverbal communication making up for 55%. That means there is a lot for you to consider before you have even opened your mouth: the way you’re dressed, how you walk through the door, eye contact and the all-important handshake.
The anticipation of an interview can be more nerve-wracking than the interview itself If you’ve been unemployed for a while or are seeking your first graduate job, the stakes feel even higher, and the pressure can get the better of you. But use the time leading up to an interview wisely, and there is nothing to stop you from doing yourself justice.
Know your resume inside out but keep the talking relevant
Whether you’re currently employed or have been out of work for a while, being able to talk through the strengths of your resume confidently, along with past experiences you feel good about, will pay dividends. At the same time, don’t fear silences. One common error interviewees make is to dive straight into an answer and ramble. Talking too much comes as a result of nervousness. It is understandable: filling silences is an inherent survival instinct. However, it could very quickly damage your chances of getting the job. Less is often more. Practise possible answers aloud – preferably in front of a mirror and a friend, so that you can see how you come across. In the interview pause before answering a question by taking a sip of water. This will give you time to collect your thoughts and make you feel more confident, which will transfer to the interviewers.
Go easy on the coffee
Coffee is a popular go-to drink when it comes to wanting an energy boost, and it can be tempting to dose up on it in the run-up to an interview. However, coffee impacts people differently, and the risk is that the timing of the inevitable post-coffee energy ‘crash’ can be difficult to predict. Your focus and coherence may also be influenced negatively, which is obviously not what you want during your interview or in preparation for it.
Remember that you have earned this interview – no one else got you there. You wouldn’t be invited in for an interview if the employer didn’t think you could do the job. If self-doubt starts to creeps in as the interview nears, calm your mind with gentle breathing exercises. Deep breathing taps into the activity occurring in our brain, namely the areas related to emotion and memory. As a result, controlled, gentle breathing helps us to relax, remember and be aware of our surrounding. Full a more detailed explanation of how breathing can help, take a look at Groom and Style’s piece on breathing “A Guide On The Different Breathing Techniques And Their Benefits“
Try to enjoy it. Remember that all experience is useful, whatever the outcome. You will learn something about yourself regardless. So breathe, stand tall, be proud and smile.
Another guest post by Lucy Wyndham.