In this point in time, jobs are hard to come by and the competition is fierce. Thousands of college graduates, who were sure they would immediately find a job in their required field, are finding there are more applicants than available jobs.
If you have done your homework and have received a job interview you are one step closer to employment. Never give up if you are not hired for a particular job. The more job interviews in which you participate the more knowledgeable and comfortable you become while being interviewed. I have extensive experience in both being the interviewer and the interviewe so I can relate to both sides.
I participated in many interviews before finally being hired for my “dream job”. There are plenty of articles that give basic information on interviews but I wanted to address issues not generally covered. These are techniques which can be utilized without the employer ever being aware of the strategy being employed.
One of these techniques is body language. We are influenced daily by the body language of other people. While the person is generally not aware they are being affected, the subconscious mind is noting and gathering impressions based on unconscious signals supplied by the other party.
Some research on the subject gives very interesting information . One such observation is that people are drawn to people who mimic their actions. This unconsciously causes the interviewer to feel a similar affinity for that person. Couples in the first stages of courtship mimic the actions of the other if an attraction exists. Sometimes while in public watch the couples in your vicinity.
While bored at times, my business partners and myself, amused our selves betting on which couples were both attracted to the other and which only one, or neither, held an attraction for the other. Surprisingly we found we were right a very high majority of the time.
We, as people, are more attracted to persons we feel are like us. The key is to mimic the mode of speech, talking soft or loud according to the interviewer as well as if the interviewer crosses their legs a certain way , you do the same. This also goes for hand actions, head tilts ect…. Another tip is while giving vital information to the employer open your arms straight out with palms facing upward. This is a action used by the body when telling the truth and will cause the employer to trust the information being given.
Applicants should lean forward slightly while the employer is speaking and listen intently. Then repeat a portion of what the interviewer has stated. This will indicate your interest in the interviewers information and your ability to listen and absorb information. People like to feel that you find them interesting and you are truly interested in what they are conveying. Leaning forward signals you are interested. Also, when answering the employers question look the person straight in the eye with no rapid blinking. This portrays honesty.
Smile, smile, smile. But, be sure your eyes crinkle on the side, as a smile without crinkling eyes is perceived as fake. You want to avoid appearing fake at all costs. Practice these moves at home until they feel natural and comfortable.
Body Language Not to Employ during an Interview
One position you may find surprising not to use is placing your palm under your chin or the side of your face with a finger or fingers resting on the face or nose. This action unconsciously portrays you find the speaker boring but you are making an attempt to look interested. If you attend a boring speech or even a boring church sermon look around and see how many people have adopted this position. When being questioned do not look away from the questioner, or place your hands near you mouth or nose. This indicates you are being deceitful. This is also true if the person pauses too long after being asked a question or if the persons voice rises a octave or so.
Do not sit with arms crossed across the chest. This indicates you are closed off to what you are being told and makes the interviewer feel distant toward the person being interviewed. Not good. People generally hire people they like and are similar to themselves. Always keep arms open and loose. Try and convey the appearance of being relaxed even if you feel tight as a drum. Practice comes in handy here.
Do not rub the back of you neck or ball or clinch your fist. This signals the receiver you are considering violence or that you are mad and possibly have anger issues.
If the interviewer has grammar issues or speaks in a casual manner do not correct the interviewer for his mistakes or use formal speech, otherwise you come across as looking down on the interviewer or being a know it all. While you should always use correct grammar ,speak in the same relaxed manner of the interviewer.
Tips for interviewing before a group of people.
Many otherwise good interview applicants get confused when interviewing in front of a panel. I have made presentations in front of a group and interviewed in front of 2-6 people at a time. The key to overcoming fear in this case is to pretend you are in a situation that you would normally find comfortable, for example, pretend they are your family. You aren’t nervous speaking to a group of family are you. Also, pick a focal point on which to focus so you can tune out the fact multiple people are present. Practicing in front of a mirror at home is a good idea. Make sure you are knowledgeable about your material and anticipate possible questions and have an answer ready.
There is always an alpha person who controls the interview. This person should become apparent within a few minutes in the interview. Address your answers to the person speaking but be sure to have eye contact with all persons present. Adopt the mannerisms of the person who the majority of interviewers have their feet pointed toward. This is the person that is liked the most by those persons .and will generally have the most influence in the decision. Also, mingle in mirror actions of all persons present while looking at that person.
Following the interview, while shaking hands, place the hand not involved clasping the others hand on top of the clasping hands. This makes the other person feel a close intimate connection with that person. President Clinton was an expert on employing this technique. Worked great for him,
Dry mouth is a predictable body response when that person is nervous. I learned a neat trick while enrolled in a leadership and public speaking seminar. Place a life saver, breath mint , or something of that nature between the gum and you cheek at the back of your mouth. This will cause the mouth to continue to supply moisture and keep your mouth and lips from sticking together. Do not chew or allow the item to be viewed. And above all no gum chewing.
Another technique, which I have found to be personally useful ,is to talk with the employer as if you already have the job. An example: I intend to streamline and priortize production to increase profit without raising cost. This makes the employer view you as already having the job. Try to schedule your interview the first or last appointment of the day. Employer's remember more about these interviews. Employer's generally have interviews scheduled every 30 minutes or on a hourly basis. After the first couple of interviews employers become distracted and tend to pay less attention.
While employing these techniques cannot over come an applicant not being qualified for a desired job, it can give an applicant who may have similar or even slightly less qualifications a definite edge. There is so much competition among qualified persons for jobs that applicants need to use every resource available to them.