No matter if you’re applying for your first job or already established in your field, a job interview is always nerve-wracking as it’s a make-or-break moment that can positively or negatively impact your career. Here are some interview tips that have helped me throughout the years.
Sincerity is the best policy
I’ve been to my fair share of interviews, never memorized lines and got positive callbacks 75% of the time. My secret weapon – I say it like I mean it. Interviewers can spot an over-prepared, inauthentic speech from miles away. When asked questions like “What’s your greatest weakness?” answer what’s true to you instead of racking your brain wondering what your interviewer expects to hear. Don’t be afraid to give “clichéd” answers – if your weakness really is perfectionism because it slows you down and sometimes makes you inefficient, admit upfront that it’s cliché, but true. Such honesty is rare and will score you points.
Find common ground
When dealing with personable, friendly interviewers, don’t be afraid to hold conversations within the interview. There were a few instances in which I discovered mid-interview that both of us attended the same school, and proceeded to ask what they studied there or made jokes about certain features of the school all its students had an opinion about. This builds rapport, showing the interviewer he/she is able to have a good long-term professional and personal relationship with you. But if your interviewer looks like he wants nothing more than to go home, no fear – intimidating as it seems, don’t hesitate to share some of your career lows and major setbacks, and how you overcame them. This display of vulnerability again adds a personal touch (everyone has hit rock bottom somewhere), which will likely make the interviewer remember you favorably.
Change your body language
Not to show the interviewer you’re confident but to convince yourself that you are. Many studies have proven that switching up your body language alters your hormones and thus changes the way you feel. Adopt ‘power poses’ in the interview room to feel less stressed and more self-assured – sit/stand upright and place your hands by your side or gesture as you speak (instead of crossed in front of your body or in your pockets). Pretend you’re a celebrity doing a segment on late night TV – tell yourself you’re strong, powerful and got the interview in the bag.