Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the shoulder for having made it this far. As you’ve carefully prepared for this moment, you are confident to enter the golden door to the interview room.
Now, here are a few pointers to help seal the deal with the interviewer:
1) Keep your vibe positive as you walk into the room. Believe it or not, the energy you carry can be felt; it can either repel or attract people. And, as it influences your mood, it will affect how you handle your interview. Be sure to have a good mood for your interview to have a good flow.
2) Smile and formally greet the interviewer using his/her last name. E.g. ‘Good Morning, Ms. Garcia. It’s a pleasure to meet you.’ This move should break all barriers or melt any ice that may be standing between you and your interviewer.
3) Your handshake not only displays confidence but also respect and sensitivity to culture. Note that culture affects the manner a person shakes hands with others. Normally, it is the interviewer who extends his or her hand first. As not to be offensive in any way, simply mirror the type of grip extended to you.
4) ‘Don’t hold on when he or she has already let go.’ You may have heard of that cliche before. Apply the same to a handshake. While a normal handshake lasts for 2-5 seconds, in your case, let the interviewer end the gesture at any point. Simply follow the lead.
Note: During the pandemic, in place of a handshake, you can slightly bow your head as it is when giving reverence to a person of authority.
5) Wait for the signal to be seated. The interviewer would either ask you to sit or make a gesture for you to do so. Don’t forget to say ‘thank you’ before taking your place. Be poised for any ‘small talk’ once you are comfortably seated. Here’s a link to a guide on this.
6) Sit properly. Reading these two words may remind you of your grade school days where you are asked to sit up straight with both feet on the floor. You would lean slightly forward to show you are listening intently. You were not allowed to cross your legs, although you could cross your feet at the ankle.
7) Allow your hands to be your guide. Although your hands should rest on your lap or on the desk to show your readiness for a conversation, you can have some occasional hand movements to help you express your thoughts. Hand gestures are also said to help recall ideas, so go ahead and do some hand-waving here and there. Just don’t overdo it.
8) Let your eyes convey a thousand words. Make direct eye contact when speaking to the interviewer. However, make sure the way you stare does not make your interviewer feel awkward at any point. Let your eyes genuinely express interest. Make it sparkle at all times to ease any tension.
9) Don’t say ‘I don’t know’ immediately. It’s unnerving when you are asked a question when the answer is completely oblivious to you. Pause, breathe, and ask the interviewer a few questions to lead you closer to the answer. If you remain clueless, humbly clarify that you may not have encountered this matter/subject yet but that you are eager to research it.
10) Apply the art of rhetorics to seal the deal. This is the ability to speak effectively and persuasively. You can apply its three forms as follows:
Ethos – What you say should build and fortify your reputation and character.
Logos – Use logical reasoning when asked to expound on your answers.
Pathos – Appeal to the interviewer’s emotions.
As your interview has come to a close, rise and confidently reciprocate your interviewer’s handshake. Smile, and say ‘thank you’. You may not know the results just yet, but celebrate the fact that you have done everything to turn the tables in your favor.
In the job landscape, recruiters acknowledge that hard skills are nothing without an employee’s soft skills, sometimes, even most important in a resume. What used to be black and white in employability skills are now introduced with gray areas that we need to take notice of.