How to Communicate Effectively During an Interview
A well thought out resume is the first step to making a great impression on a potential employer. Having the right experience, education, and references help your resume get noticed and in turn, help you land an interview. However, the way you communicate during that interview, goes a long way in supporting the credentials you listed in your resume.
Some studies have shown people form first impressions based 55% on body language and only 7% on actual verbal content of the conversation. Here are some helpful ways to make sure your non-verbal communication is saying what you want it to.
- How you look – Your appearance is a reflection of your level of professionalism. You want to show the interviewer you care about the impression you are making and you take pride in how you represent yourself. Before one word is spoken, you have already conveyed the message their opinion of you matters and, if hired, you will put in the same effort when working with clients.
- Your posture during the interview – When you are seated, don’t slouch. This gives the impression of being disinterested and too relaxed. Ultimately, you want to show you are engaged and confident. Sitting up straight and leaning forward just a little will show the interviewer you are actively listening. Try to avoid fidgeting, either with your hands or shifting your position frequently. This shows you are nervous and can also be distracting to the person interviewing you.
- Eye contact – Making eye contact with the person with whom you are speaking is important. Again, your goal is to show your confidence. If your eyes are looking away from that person, convincing someone of your sincerity and self-assurance will be difficult.
- Your handshake – While this may seem like a “no brainer,” often people are not aware of how they shake another person’s hand. Your handshake should be firm, but not bone crushing. Most importantly, your palms should be dry. If needed, dry them with a towel prior to the interview. You can also put powder or antiperspirant on them to keep them dry.
The old adage “you only have one chance to make a first impression” is never truer than in a job interview. You want the person interviewing you to see you as a confident, prepared professional who takes pride in themself.
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