We all walk into that interview pretty nervous, your palms are sweaty, your collar seems to be shrinking, and you have a million reasons racing through your head. You may be nervous, which is almost unavoidable, but the key to an interview is maintaining your composure. An interview is a lot like a date: conversation is more limited, both parties are curious about the other, and there is right or wrong answers. Even if a question seems mundane or menial at best, there is a purpose to every question. For every question, there are more questions; there is a time frame and clarity level that is necessary for answering those questions. Maintain confidence and eye contact, because your employer is looking for integrity and leadership qualities in your composure. Just like a date, an interview will inevitably end and you may be left waiting for a phone call that may not come. To improve your chances, I have comprised a few examples from my managerial years and professional training with my last career.
1: Cross interviewing
The idea of an interview is getting used to the other individual. What most people may not realize in an interview is that you are being interviewed and you are also interviewing the company that you may be joining. Most people do not realize that an interview goes both ways, yet it is important to let the interviewee lead the interview. The interviewee is ultimately the one who determines whether or not you are going to work for them. By introducing limited questions to the interviewee, you will let them know that you are interested in the position and let you know if this career path is right for you.
2: Mundane questions always have weight
There are right or wrong answers in an interview, and avoiding them takes practice and critical thinking. My favorite question to ask when I interviewed possible candidates for supervisors, was “what position they like most in a sports team”. Although this question seems mundane, it determines several key personality and aspirational types about the individual. If an individual takes this question seriously, they will place themselves on that team and will explain why they are ideal for that position. A interviewer likes someone who feels like they belong on a team and can bring (and relate) themselves to a valuable member of that team.
3: A great pace goes a long way
The length of your response is important, and each response must be smooth and planned out. employers are looking for someone who can pace themselves in a conversation and define something clearly. Upper management looks for individuals who can relay important information to employees clearly and well-defined. A person who is unclear or is unsure of their words, usually cannot manage others effectively. A interviewee must also be able to continue on with a topic for up to five to ten minutes depending on its relevance or potential relevance. Remember, a topic change can happen at any point, and it is important to clarify everything you say because if an interviewer has to constantly ask you to clarify what you mean, you are not effectively communicating your thoughts.
4: Body language accounts for over 90% of communication
Maintaining eye contact and relaxed body language is important. According to experts, a great distance of communication is not done with what you say, but the way you act when you say it. Have you ever got the feeling someone you met was lying to you because of their body language? You were probably right; someone who says one thing and reacts uncomfortably to saying it, probably does not believe it themselves. an interviewer is looking for a person with confidence and the integrity to do what they say and not back down to pressure. By maintaining good composure you express calm and cool under pressure, and your devoted attention shows them that you are focused on the goal and you are dedicated to excellence.
5: Sticking with them, but in a good way
Lastly, but definitely the most important part of an interview is knowing what is appropriate for humor and for confidence levels. During the interview, it is important to maintain a professional approach to all answers and questions. However, an interview that feels too dry, will not likely render you a job despite the professionalism you have expressed. An interviewer wants someone to stand out amongst the others, and it is important to keep any humor light and unbiased. A interviewer will not remember a million names and notes that all look great, they will remember someone who stood out and they found funny and clever. We may not remember our pharmacist or your mailman, but crack a joke with her or him and you would be surprised how long you remember their name and how they stand out amongst the rest.
All that being said, good luck and remember these tips for a heightened chance of getting that dream job. Confidence is key and maintaining your composure and professionalism is key.