In his book What Color Is Your Parachute, Richard Bolles stresses the importance of the first two minutes in an interview. In that first few minutes, it is critical to initially build trust with the person interviewing you.
Here are seven ways to align yourself with the interviewer, which will augment the questions you answer on how your background matches the requirements for the position:
- Opening chit-chat. As you are being seated in the interviewer’s office, instead of talking about the weather, discuss something you have seen in the office like a picture of the person’s family, a coffee cup collection, or a plaque on the wall. In using this technique, you are immediately creating a positive first impression by discussing something that is familiar to the interviewer and finding common interests.
- Body language. By leaning toward the interviewer, turning your head to one side with your ear slightly cocked, and keeping your arms open will portray yourself as poised, approachable and friendly.
- Display positive energy. Interviewers are attracted to those who display positive energy in the interview and who are optimistic about their career outlook. Use the person’s name in responding to those initial questions asked by the interviewer to sound enthusiastic.
- Show self-confidence. Don’t give answers in a hesitant fashion, speak so softly that you cannot be heard, or interrupt the interviewer.
- Tell stories with a meaning. Every anecdote you tell should be short in duration and have a point. Well-shaped stories with a focus and purpose can convey several of your desirable qualities like a strong work ethic, company loyalty, or dependability.
- Demonstrate that you are focused. If you are focused entirely on an interview, psychologically you can’t be nervous, overwrought, or consciously judgmental of you. Good conversations occur when both parties are fully engaged, and this happens when everyone is focused on the interview only and nothing else.
- Be yourself. The best way to display your credibility in an interview is to be yourself. Be proud of who you are and let them hear it!
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Also, if you are in transition and need assistance with outplacement–or trying to improve on your skills and could benefit from executive coaching or executive leadership development – contact OI Global Partners today!
Ray Blush has been managing partner of OI Partners – Hugh Anderson Associates in Ann Arbor, MI for 17 years. His prior background includes 25 years of top corporate, divisional, and plant-level general management and human resources experience in high-tech medical devices, machine tool and cutting tool industries. He holds an M.B.A. in Industrial Relations from the University of Detroit, and a B.A. from Xavier University. Holds a Certificate in Tool & Die from Macomb County Community College and has taught Small Business Management Continuing Education courses. He has served in leadership roles in several community service organizations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.