For many, attending a job interview can be a highly pressurised and nerve-racking situation. If you were to Google search for job interview strategies, you will generally find a whole lot of advice. Advice including how to dress appropriately, researching the company you are being interviewed by, and anticipating interview questions. Whilst these strategies will help you to be well prepared for the interview they might not help you stand out from other interviewees.
Having worked in the international performing scene for over 15 years, travelling the world as a singer and the artistic leader of my own company, it was only after I took a career break from my singing career that I discovered people are not only interested in you for your skills, they are interested in you, the person.
For many of us, attending a job interview is often where we have to prove we are good enough. Certainly if it is a job you would really like to have. What if there is a different possibility?
The key strategies for exuding a strong and memorable presence during your interview are:
Demonstrate a genuine interest in the company you are interviewing with
Be interested rather than interesting. Many people will attend a job interview thinking they have to show how interesting they are. What if you could engage with the people and the company in a different way? Asking questions about the company’s key values will demonstrate you have a deeper desire to understand the company’s ethos.
Be vulnerable and tell them what they can hear
At first, this may seem counterintuitive in an interview, afterall you are there to highlight your key strengths and experiences in order for the company to see that you are the best fit for the job. However, there may be gaps in your skills and knowledge required for the job, and rather than hiding this, ask what people can hear (in your head) before you start talking. This will give you an awareness of what will expand the conversation, rather than contract and creating a separation between you. Being vulnerable will help you come across as honest and trustworthy, traits that many companies value highly.
Maintain an open connection with the interviewers during the interview
Whether they realise it or not, interviewers also notice the micro signals from your body. Studies state 55% of our total communication is delivered by body language. Lowering your barriers is something you can practice before the interview. Ask yourself, ‘where are my barriers at the moment?’ Then imagine yourself putting them down. Having no barriers when considering your job interview strategies will create more ease in communication at any time.
Where appropriate, smiling, maintaining eye contact with all interviewers and sitting in an upright, open position all provide cues to the interviewers that you are engaged and engaging with them.
Don’t forget to refer to interviewers names during the interview. This maintains a connection with the interviewers.
Dare to be you, even if that is different!
Most people feel they need to speak and act a certain way to fit into the company. Don’t be afraid to put across your unique qualities, and what makes you different to everyone else. What if people desired to hire you for who you are, and not for what you do? Trusting you is the valuable product. You don’t need to prove your talents, abilities and capacities. If you embody them, people will feel that.
Companies are starting to value those that think outside the box. Particularly those who can contribute to change and something unique and different.
When formalising your job interview strategies remember to pull energy rather than pushing energy
While communicating between people, there are different ways of leading the energy during the communication. Some people have learned that they have to get the message clear and out there to their communication partners, which tends to push them away and create a distance. In a job interview you want to create a pulling underflow, which draws the interviewers attention to you to create a more receptive connection between you both.
Have an open willingness to enjoy the process of the interview, rather than a fixed desire on the outcome. People tend to set themselves very high expectations about interviews, and can often conclude that they are a failure if the interview does not lead to a successful outcome. By not having an invested interested in the outcome, you will be open to greater possibilities, and learn more in the process.
About the author
Yasodhara Romero Fernandes is a professional performer, vocal coach, performance and communications expert, bodyworker, former teacher and certified Access Consciousness & Right Voice for You facilitator. She hosts workshops and private classes around the world, helping people open up to the power of authentic communication and authentic living and to connect to their body and in life effortlessly.