You walk into a job interview. You’re a bit nervous, but you’ve practiced this moment in the mirror. You smile, stand at attention, and extend your hand warmly to greet the HR rep. You’re confident and engaging!
Another candidate sits idle awaiting their turn too. They are fidgeting, biting their nails and checking their watch incessantly. They offer their paperwork to the receptionist, looking down and never making eye contact. The receptionist says “thank you” but notices the candidate’s nervousness and uncertainty.
And so does the interviewer.
What People Perceive, They Believe
Who’s more likely to seal the deal? The candidate that believes they can do the job has control over their ‘mind chatter’ and, reflects that message with their body language, interest and appearance.
Well, while most rising stars are worried about posturing their technical aptitude, non-verbal cues (a.k.a. soft skills) can make a lasting impression. Our un-choreographed, unrehearsed behavioral cues – indicates how we naturally show up every day. In fact, social psychologists have coined the term person perception as to how we size people up – even making quick snap judgments. Our mind is a complex engine performing assessment after assessment governing how we think, feel, and interpret ourselves and others.
But the good news is that we have control over how we show up. We can change our outward appearance most of the time simply by looking inward, more specifically by changing our inner dialogue.
Most coaching clients we meet often say that when they go into an interview, they feel like they will be lucky to be offered a job. Lucky? How about if you believed that the hiring company was making an informed business decision and determined that you would be an asset to the company. Would that make a difference in your behavior?
Luck or a good fit?
Luck means that you believe that it’s a twist of fate that anyone would be willing to hire you.
Change your mindset and know that you have something to offer. Regard the interview as an opportunity for both sides to get to know if there is compatibility. That’s where the good fit comes in.
Think about your life, your accomplishments, your values, your desire to grow and expand your knowledge and skills as true assets. Assets that some lucky organization will get to receive!
Strike a Pose (Not Quite Like Madonna…)
So, how do you communicate with unspoken brilliance and command the room in any situation? How can you get into your power pose? It can start with the conversation you have with yourself beforehand.
From posture to pose, here’s how to embrace both.
What is it? Why don’t people ‘own the space?’ It’s due to a belief. The belief that they don’t feel like they have the right to be there or that they are afraid. Neither of those beliefs (which drive behavior) is going to land a job.
When preparing for an interview, did you review the list of credentials and job qualifications and tell yourself that you were qualified? Or, did you question your skills and experience? Owning the space means showing up with confidence. When you believe you can do the job, there’s less of a chance that you will be fidgeting, slumping or slouching. Understanding that you’re not perfect but truly knowing that you’re capable of meeting the job expectations can totally change your demeanor. You will stand up straighter and be comfortable in your own space.
Direct Eye Contact
Make sure to look at the person not at your phone, your notes, or out the window. Direct eye contact indicates confidence. It will also convey a genuine interest in the position.
Be Prepared and Transparent
Go to the interview with the intention of learning everything you can. Don’t pretend to be curious that will be evident to the person conducting the interview. Ask follow-on questions to find out about the organization, the culture, and to see if it’s a good match.
An interview isn’t to fake the person into liking you and giving you the job. It’s about discovering if the position is a fit, which is a two-way street. Find out what the organization needs and see how you can contribute. That lens that knowing that you have something to offer will give you another level of confidence and hopefully an advantage over the other candidates.
If you want to ace a job interview, consider hiring a career coach. At Hello, we specialize in high-impact communication and self-leadership, so that individuals feel empowered, supported, and optimistic about their role and intentions within an organization. Check out our Body Language Training course, specially designed for those moments when first impressions count.
Smile… you’ve got this!
If you liked this article, please pass it on.