The first impression you make on a potential employer is incredibly essential. When you meet a prospective employer for the first time, they immediately form an opinion of you based on how you present yourself, be it how you dress or how you speak. Interviewing is a skill in and of itself, in which your ability to interact with the interviewer and articulate your thoughts are just as important factors in getting the job as the qualifications listed on your resume.
Below are the top 3 interview skills to brush up on your own job search.
Skill #1: Be Confident, But Not Arrogant
Although you should be willing and able to promote yourself, your experience and accomplishments, make sure you don’t come across as arrogant, narcissistic, or self-important. No matter how good you are at your job, you’re going to run into countless obstacles if you lack the emotional intelligence to work on a team and get along with managers, co-workers or clients. Focus on exuding a kind and balanced sense of confidence, and when you discuss your achievements and be sure to give credit where credit is due to show that you’re a team player.
Skill #2: Express Optimism
No company wants to hire someone with a bad attitude. No matter how difficult your situation is, don’t bring any baggage into the interview room. That means don’t bad-mouth your former employer or any other companies you’ve been associated with or complain about your circumstances.
Be natural, expressing reasonable perspectives through a lens of optimism. For example, if you have to talk about a challenging situation, you should include a mention of how you may have helped solve it, and what you learned that made you a better employee. Remember, your body language here matters as much as your words. Walk in with a smile on your face, offer a firm handshake, and sit up tall at the table, leaning slightly forward to engage in the conversation.
Sill #3: Show Interest, Without Desperation
Sometimes, it can be helpful to think of an interview as a (professional) first date. An air of disinterest, apathy, or monotony will likely turn off an interviewer, as will overenthusiastic desperation. No matter how much you want or need the job, refrain from acting desperate; pleading or begging has no place in a job interview. The key is to express sincere interest in the role and in the company, and passion for the work you do. Keep in the back of your mind that you are a valuable asset as an employee.
Interviews can be tough, but with some practice, they can become a skill that you conquer. Make sure you are prepared for your first meeting with an employer and take the time to put your best foot forward. Sometimes that means running through sample interview questions with a trusted friend or mentor. Sometimes that means putting yourself in a confident mindset, ready and eager to share your passion and expertise with a new employer. The bottom line is to do what works for you, and you’ll be amazed at how well you can do.
Are you looking for a new job?
Connect with the recruiting team at US PRO to learn more about how you can ace your next interview.