5 Tips To On How To Present Yourself In An Interview
So you’ve made it to interview. Congratulations! Now you have the chance to show your potential new employer exactly what you’re made of. Here’s how to start off on the right foot and present yourself in a way that demonstrates your confidence in your own abilities.
Faking it is fine!
You’re waiting for your interview sat on a chair outside the room where your possible new boss awaits. Any minute now, she or he will open the door and beckon you in for your first meeting… It’s OK that you might not be feeling your most confident right now! But what you can do is give off the right external vibes so no one will ever suspect that, internally, there are a hundred thousand butterflies dancing the cha-cha-cha in your stomach. You can show you’re relaxed, even if you don’t feel it.
Strike a pose
Before you even open your mouth, you’re being interviewed. Pay attention to the non-verbal signals you’re sending out. Think about how you look. Even if you’re just sat in an armchair in reception, imagine that CCTV camera is watching you. What are you doing with your posture? Don’t slouch in the chair like you’re watching Netflix with pizza on a Friday night. Imagine you’re a graceful mountain and sit up straight. When your name gets called, walk tall and smile.
Have you ever stopped to consider what sort of handshake you give? A firm (not crushing) handshake sends an important signal that you’re comfortable with yourself and in control. The opposite, ‘limp lettuce’ handshake is an instant turn off, giving the impression that you lack dynamism. Don’t let your firm handshake be compromised by nervous, clammy hands either. It doesn’t take a moment to run your hands under cold water before you go in.
Once you’re in the interview room, using positive hand gestures to reinforce the points you’re making is a good thing, but don’t go wild. It’s very distracting to watch someone who looks like they’re directing traffic while they talk!
Eyes of a tiger
So much of the message you convey comes across in your head and eye position. It doesn’t matter how much your stomach is flipping, if you can hold eye contact with your interviewer while you talk to each other, you’ll look interested, engaged, thoughtful and confident. Conversely, talking to the floor in embarrassment will look self-absorbed and scared – not good qualities for someone applying for a customer-facing role.
Be aware that the adrenaline coursing through your veins is likely to make you gabble. Resisting the natural urge to get all those words out through your mouth as fast as possible is hard. Your head is telling you that the quicker you reply, the smarter you’ll look. But you need to override that temptation if you want to appear in control of your mind and body. A good strategy is to remember to breathe. That might sound silly, but when you’re talking and feeling the pressure it’s all too easy to stop breathing and increase the urgency in your speaking speed. Being aware of your breath will keep you sounding calm and relaxed.
Practice those four tips before your interview, in a mirror or perhaps with a friend sat opposite you, and you’ll be more likely to recall them when the big day comes. And if you can pass yourself off as confident, you’re well on the way to proving your effectiveness and a big step closer to hearing those beautiful words, “Congratulations, we’d like to offer you the job”!