Hi there! Welcome to the Greg Langstaff Resume & Interview blog. I'm here to give you a quick burst of useful information so you can build a great resume and nail your interviews.
This blog post is focused on how to bring the right amount of energy, personality, and professionalism to an interview. I know all of us blog readers and advice seekers are total list junkies so here are the top 9 techniques to present your best self in your next interview.
1. Don't be a robot
Yes, you need to be professional. But don't overshoot professional and go straight to robotic. Employers want to know you have some energy and interest in the work. Get excited as you are talking about your experiences.
2. Find the Professional-Personal Tone Hybrid
When searching for the tone to use in an interview, imagine you are talking to your boss about what you did last weekend. You're excited, you show some emotions, and still remain professional. That is exactly what interviewers are looking for.
3. Use a Natural Smile
Smiling shows confidence and it makes the interviewers far more likely to connect with you. Worried about holding a fake smile for a whole interview? Don't. Respond to questions with detailed accounts of positive experiences you have had and the smiles will come naturally.
4. Share the Eye Contact
If you're being interviewed by multiple people, try to spend about the same amount of time making eye contact with each person. As an interviewer it's very obvious when you're getting a disproportionately high or low amount of eye contact and it’s uncomfortable.
5. End Answers Confidently
I'm not talking about slamming your pen down on the table and yelling “booya!” after each answer. Just don't end it with a weak, “and… uh… yeah”. If you don't think you've reached an obvious conclusion to your answer, just loop back to the question for a summary statement, like this, “and that is an example of a time I resolved a conflict among my team.”
6. Bring Water
Nothing is better for buying you a moment to think, breathe and collect your thoughts than a sip of water. It's a completely natural act and interviewers will not think anything of it. Make sure you’ve got yourself a nice professional-looking water bottle and sit it down on the interview table when you arrive.
7. Be Grateful
Thank your interviewers frequently and genuinely for their time. It's not uncommon for an interview panel to interview multiple candidates back-to-back, sometimes for days at a time. For the interviewers, the experience can be gruelling. These interviewers have busy schedules and they decided you were worth their time. Express your gratitude.
8. Relax Your Mind, Relax Your Body
If you have a technique for relaxing yourself when you're nervous, keep doing what works for you. I’ll recommend you use a very basic meditation technique which simply requires you to focus on slow, deep breathing. This works for me because the oxygen helps to relax me and focusing on something aside from the interview calms the nerves.
9. Visualize the Interview
This one sounds a little bit zen to me, but I've read the research and visualization works, just ask Michael Phelps. If you know the interview space or the people who will be interviewing you, great! Add those details to your visualization. But what's important is that you close your eyes and watch yourself confidently walk into the room, smile, shake hands, and deliver great answers. Give it a try, I promise you won't be disappointed!
If you are nervous keep in mind, it's totally normal to be nervous for an interview. Everyone is! Even as an interviewer, I'm sometimes nervous for interviews.
Now that you've know how to be calm, confident, and professional in your next interview, check out this blog on answering some common interview questions: The Most Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them.
Good luck and if you need anything at all, reach out on my contact page :)