The first impression you make on the employer is the most important part of the job interview. Starting a job interview with the wrong conduct can interfere with the process before it even begins.
Your attitude and ability to get along with people are being judged from the moment you first walk into the place where you will be interviewed. Or even earlier: when you first speak on the telephone with anyone from the company. Anyone you encounter at the door, the elevator, the bathroom, or the reception area may have input into whether or not you are hired. Pay attention to the manner in which you interact with everyone.
During the interview itself, be as outgoing and enthusiastic as possible. Of course this isn’t easy because interviews can make people nervous, and nervous people tend to smile less, and act more stiff and formal than they normally would. However, the employer wants to see that you are comfortable even in a potentially uncomfortable interpersonal situation such as an interview.
It is equally important not to go too far in the other direction. Some people respond to nerves by talking or laughing too much or too loudly, or being too informal with the interviewer. If you tend to be stiff and uncomfortable during an interview, it is time to perform and act how you would if you did not feel nervous. This may feel unnatural at first, but behaving as if you are not nervous can actually make you start to feel more confident.
Most employers are interested in determining whether you are the best fit for a position. They are thus prepared to ask you a number of questions that will determine whether you have the skills, talents and abilities to perform the duties of the position you have to fill. Be willing to answer any questions that an interviewer offers you. An eagerness to accommodate the situation will go a long way to pleasing the employer and possibly being hired.
As well as being enthusiastic, it’s important that you stay positive. Avoid saying anything negative, especially about former employers. Focus on what value you would bring to the company as an employee, and not on what you want to get from the job. For example, don’t discuss how much vacation time is given or bring up salary until the employer does.
The best candidates are those that go into an interview with a relaxed and cheerful attitude. Employers are not looking for candidates who have all the answers; they want to hire someone who is a good problem solver and one who is ready to try new ideas. If you can easily smile and handle a tough problem by working through it with a well-defined strategy, then you will go a long toward winning over an employer.
Take note to avoid saying anything negative about yourself, which some applicants do by sounding as if they are desperate for a job. Before the interview, remind yourself how much you have to offer an employer and that there are many opportunities for you. Believe that if this particular job doesn’t work out, there is something better out there. You want the interviewer and the other people you meet to think: “What a great, confident person! Someone like that would really fit in well here.”
“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” Walter Scott
Relebohile Sera (Ms) is a Professional Certified Career Coach. My mission in life is to help people be successful in their careers and to provide coaching for those seeking a new career direction.