How To Signal Strength In A Job Interview

signal, strength, confidence, psychology, career, job search

I’ve written about this topic before.  But never this directly.  It’s about confidence and delivery of your best stuff.  At a time when it matters most.

And especially when in a tough economy.  With so many others out there wanting to outshine you.  You have to deliver.

But first, here is a reminder of things you can do from prior content:

A.  Get properly prepared for an interview.  I shared the tool I used in a free interview prep download for those close to an important interview.  When your brain is ready, your head can relax a bit.  Knowing that you’ve done everything you can to prepare.

B.  Another way to relax and prepare your brain is with music.  There is great power in music as a mind control device (the good kind).  You can read about the power of music during job search.  Right now I am listening to a powerful song.  One I often let ravage my skull on the way to interviews.  It is The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart.  Now, you don’t have to be a lover of classical music to appreciate the strength of this tune.  Just think of how you felt during Star Wars or Indiana Jones.  Yep, all classical music rocking those theaters.  I would give this one a try on iTunes.

C.  Get off to a great start.  The first 5 minutes of any interview are absolutely crucial.  It’s like the big game.  You don’t want to go down early, right?  You want to get a few good swings or kicks in early.  To build a little momentum.

D.  Believe in yourself.  In the person that has enjoyed great victories in a career to date.  Of course it’s all relative (perhaps my big victory is your cakewalk).  But no matter what, your head should be full of your past victories when you pull open the big door.  Least desirable, of course, is you feeling desperate.  Don’t be a desperado.   People can smell it.  Even if you are not coughing up humble pie.

E.  Find and turn up your dimmer switch.  A great piece of advice I got once.  Whether you are heading into a job interview, a business meeting or your 25 year  high school reunion.  Find that extra bit of confidence.  Some more mojo.  Feel it rising in you as your head begins to turn the final corner toward the interview room.

And here are the new ideas.  10 ways to signal strength to the interview team.  And make them battle over who gets to recommend you first.

1.  A great handshake.  Have one?

2.  A strategic “I don’t know”.  Strategic doesn’t mean that you make it up.  Or pick a place for it randomly.  It means that on a question that you may have answered as best you can in the past, instead say IDK.  It’s really too bad that LinkedIn has ruined those words.  Because they really can be powerful.  An honest expression and perhaps a starting point for conversation.  Instead of you pretending that you know it all.

3.  A pause before you answer.  Sometimes everything is not on the tip of your tongue.  And sometimes you aren’t able to anticipate every question in advance. So pause and think about it.

4.  Grab a chair.  Without being too pushy, find the obvious or most obvious chair and grab a seat.  Don’t ask if it is OK.  Or hesitate.  Just grab a seat.

5.  Stay still.  While there is room for some movement, I’d rather you stay still in your chair.  Excessive shifting or leg crossing does not signal strength.  It signals “I’m not comfortable”.  Stillness suggests focus and resilience.  Especially during a long interview day.

6.  Smile.  It says you are relaxed.  And enjoying your interview day.  Not everyone smiles.  Many grimace.  But that’s not a smile now is it?

7.  Ask great questions.  Early on to create a conversation, in the middle to keep it going and at the end to make sure your knowledge of the company matches their understanding of you.

8.  Use first names.  Now for some of you, this is your normal way of interviewing.  For others, you wouldn’t think of it.  After all, it would be rude to use someone’s first name, wouldn’t it?  Really? First name = equality.  There are some exceptions to this, of course.  But generally, it works.

9.  Say hello to others you meet in the hallway, in the restroom and in the cafeteria.  It’s OK.  You are not an experiment.  You are a potential new employee there.  And you might even learn a little about the company’s culture based on the reaction you get.

10.  Have great stories.  And specific examples.  A lot of people deliver vague answers.  The smart ones have a whole treasure chest of stories.  Examples of big wins, tough challenges and an occasional failure they learned from.  Specifics are really important.  I don’t like to ask a question three times.

So what are your ideas?  What can job seekers do to signal strength in a job interview?  When meeting with a recruiter?  I look forward to your feedback in the comments below!

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Posted via email from AndyWergedal