Whether you’re applying for a job, competing in a pageant, applying for a leadership position, or giving a speech, there’s one thing that is required for all of them: the ability to interview well. It’s no secret that interviewing is the equivalent of being thrown into a frying pan that’s being heated, by the judging eyes of your potential employer. It’s terrifying, and most would rather be forced to watch cat videos all day for the rest of their lives, than give a ten minute speech. But it doesn’t have to be terrifying! Here are some tips that will help you take control of your interview, and come out with your dream job.
1. Commanding Voice
If you took a high school choir class – or are just a singer in general – then you know the importance of breathing with your diaphragm. Breathe with your diaphragm and project! Don’t be afraid to have a commanding voice, and speak with confidence. It says a lot about you and conveys that you are competent, and ready to work.
We don’t shlump! Never shlump! Stand up straight, keep your shoulders back and chin level. Your body language will convey if you’re confident regardless of what words are coming out of your mouth.
When you’re asked a question, there’s no need to jump right into it. Take a short pause to think about the question that was asked, and give yourself time to formulate a response. Taking your time will show your interviewer that you’re comfortable, and that you’re really giving thought to what they asked you.
4. ANSWER THE QUESTION
This may seem obvious, but what sets good interviewers apart from others is their ability to answer the question. For example, if I asked “What’s your favorite color?” and you said “I have so many favorite colors it’s hard to choose. Fall colors are really beautiful, and I like summer colors too. Colors are my everything.” Clearly, the question was not answered. Answer the question directly, and then offer an explanation. That way, your interviewer will be impressed that you actually listened and gave them an answer to what they wanted to know. For example: Interviewer: “What’s your favorite color?” Interviewee: “My favorite color is red. I love red because, for me, it symbolizes love, power, and it’s my University’s color.”
When you answer the questions – PERSONALIZE THEM! People love stories, and if you provide an anecdote about how you learned valuable leadership skills through planning a picnic, or how you discovered your love of art after watching “Skin Wars” on Netflix, it will resonate with your interviewer. Ultimately, stories make you human, and people remember them far better than cold, hard facts.
6. Have Goals of What you Want to Portray
Go into your interview with a few things in mind that you want to get across. Maybe it’s your bomb work ethic, maybe it’s the fact that you’ve overcome your fear of spiders, maybe it’s that you’re dependable in fall, winter, summer, and spring. Whatever it is, make it a goal to talk about those important facts in your interview so that you can leave it knowing that your interviewer got to know the most important things about you.
Brief, to-the-point, answers are always better than long, drawn-out explanations. People have really short attention spans, so if you do your best to keep your answers short, your interviewer is more likely to think you’re sharp, and they’ll better remember what you said.
Who wants to have a conversation with a robot? Not me. Add inflections in your voice, changes in volume, facial expressions, etc. Basically, BE REAL! Don’t treat the interview like an interview, treat it like a conversation.
9. Avoid Clichés
Let’s use “The Bachelor” to help illustrate this point:
Arie: “Why do you love me?”
Lucy Loves-A-Lot: “I just feel such a strong connection with you, and I love being with you, and you’re such a great person, and you’re so hot.”
How many times have we heard those clichés?! “I feel a connection with you”?! Come on! The same principle applies to interview. If you’re asked about why you should be chosen or why you applied for a given position and you give zero specifics and only clichés…not only will they not remember you, but you won’t give them any reason to hire you.
10. First Impressions are Everything
Even though we say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” we really can’t help but do just that. If you come into an interview with business professional attire, tall posture, a confident smile, and make eye contact, your interviewer will know from the get-go that you’re a competent person that could handle the job you’re gunning to get.