Four Strategies For Interview Success. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Laura Autumn Cox of Toastmasters International. Laura will share four strategies for interview success. The word ‘interview’ can make even a confident person feel anxious. According to recent research, a whopping 93% of interview candidates experience interview anxiety. So, what can you do to ease the nerves and prepare yourself?
Four Strategies For Interview Success
The word ‘interview’ can make any relatively confident person anxious. According to recent research, 93% of interview candidates experience interview anxiety at some point in their careers. This is hardly surprising. There’s nothing quite as nerve-wracking as walking into a room or joining a video call where you – and all of your potential slip-ups – are the main focus. I’ve certainly been there, and I am sure you have, too.
Having an interview for a job is almost like going on a blind date, except the person you’re meeting already knows all about you. You’re putting yourself on the line, opening yourself up to rejection and success.
In the highly competitive employment market, reaching the interview stage strongly indicates that your qualifications, experience, and knowledge tick the boxes. The interview is undoubtedly about verifying your capabilities, but it’s really about giving the interviewer a chance to get to know you and determine if you’re a good fit for their team. It’s also about working out if they fit you well.
An interview, at its core, is a conversation. It’s a speaking exercise. My last job interview was for a role I’d wanted for years. After an inevitable period of fretting, I made a decision. I decided to treat the interview like a chat – because that’s what it was. I was myself and honest. It worked.
Try out these four key strategies to build rapport with your interviewer and nail this all-important stage.
Humanise Your Interviewer
Start by humanising your interviewer. They are human beings making a decision that will impact your life, but also someone with worries, concerns, and joys, and who probably wants you to like them too. They may even be nervous themselves.
Considering that, it’s even more important to think of a job interview as a conversation rather than an interrogation. Having compassion for the person who interviews you will remind you that they have their flaws and vulnerabilities, too. This will help you relax, take your time, and be your authentic self – while also doing the same for them.
You need to be prepared for your interview. At the very least, you want a clear idea of what the organisation you’re applying to join does and its current focus and goals. But over-preparation can be problematic. Remember to see your interview as a conversation. What happens when you forget your lines if you treat it like a performance? If you’re honest and authentic, you won’t need a script.
It’s great to be confident, but you must back it up with an example if you claim to be brilliant at X. Give genuine evidence of where you’ve modelled the behaviours they want to see, and if you don’t have an example, think about how you would apply the behaviour in an imagined scenario.
If you get the job or the promotion, you will likely interact with your interviewers again. They may even become your direct manager. People are sensitive to façades. They will recognise if you’re putting on an act, and it won’t endear them to you. So be yourself from start to finish.
Leverage Active Listening
Interviews appear to be about talking, so you might wonder where the listening part comes in. Consider the critical facets of active listening: open body language, eye contact, and responsiveness. You exhibit these behaviours when talking to a friend or a loved one because you’re genuinely engaged with what they say. These golden rules also apply in interviews, whether you’re listening or replying to a question.
Let your interviewer see that you’re engaging with them by maintaining eye contact, allowing them time to speak, and giving visual clues like nods. Actions speak louder than words, and it’s no use being a brilliant speaker if you’re staring at your feet.
A typical piece of interview advice is to ask questions. This doesn’t mean you must walk in with a prepared list, although that can be helpful. A better way to frame it is to cultivate curiosity.
At the end of the interview, your interviewer may ask if you have any questions, but this isn’t a given and can quickly become mechanical. So, where appropriate, weave in questions throughout the interview to encourage conversation. The above three strategies will help with this.
Is there a project you know the company is working on that you’re excited about? If you’re attending in person, did you see something interesting as you walked into the company’s building? Make the best impression possible while using the interview to test the water. It’s as much an opportunity for you as it is for them. You can clarify hours, wages, and other contractual details once you’ve got the job.
It’s important to remember that interviews are highly subjective. Even if you’re the most charismatic, charming, and personable candidate, there is always a chance that you and your interviewers might not click. By framing the interview as an authentic, engaging conversation with another human being – rather than some inquisitorial ordeal – you will build rapport and establish a solid relationship that stands you in good stead for what hopefully becomes your future role.
I hope you enjoyed that.
About The Author
Laura Autumn Cox is a member of Toastmasters International, a not-for-profit organisation that has provided communication and leadership skills since 1924 through a worldwide network of clubs. More than 400 clubs and 10,000 members are in the UK and Ireland. Members follow a structured educational programme to gain skills and confidence in public and impromptu speaking, chairing meetings and time management.
To find your nearest club, visit www.toastmasters.org