Now that college is over, so are the days of spontaneous interactions and friendly debates with your classmates and professors. Interactions within the professional domain are vastly different in terms of how you speak, behave and even dress. But fret not, for we have gathered some helpful interview tips for those seeking fresher jobs. It’s time to drop the casual shorts and put on formal trousers – but not always, as you’ll find out below.
1. Making the most of eye contact Something as simple as eye contact can make or break your interview round. A healthy eye contact when addressing your audience is the key to capturing their interest. When you meet your interviewer, make sure you have a pleasant eye contact to go along with your greeting and maintain it throughout your meeting. Avoiding eye contact or breaking it too often reflect s a low self-confidence and may not retain their interest in what you’re saying to them. For all you know, it may end with a lost opportunity. However, don’t be too overbearing with your eye contact or it may make you seem aggressive. Divide your eye contact across everyone you’re addressing and look away occasionally as an attempt to bring your thoughts together while speaking, in order to balance it out.
Here’s more on what else to avoid in your interview: Interviewing for your first job? Avoid these mistakes
2. Communication – How to talk your way in While it may not seem that important but how you communicate with your prospective employer right from the first touch point makes a huge difference in your ultimate selection. Your written and spoken skills together make up your overall communication capabilities. Right from your job application stage to your final round of interview, your selection is almost entirely driven by these skills. What about listening though? When you are listening to someone, don’t stare at them continuously to show your interest. It may become uncomfortable for the speaker, especially if it is a one-on-one interaction. Instead, you can alternate between looking at them, nodding occasionally and agreeing with words such as “yes”, “right”, “true”,” hmmm” and so on.
Take some ideas here on how to present yourself: How to win over your interviewer and get the job
3. Facing the face-to-face round You speak more with your body than you do with your mouth. It reflects your confidence and personality more than when you express through speech. You may not have realised it but when you respond to someone you also respond to their body language. While eye contact is part of body language, there are more ways your body makes for effective communication. Having a simple smile on your face can go a long way in creating a positive aura around you as opposed to keeping a straight face.
Wondering what to do post a good interview? Check this out: The Interview Went Well, Now What?
4. Crossed arms and legs won’t get you across It’s almost a natural inclination to cross your arms or legs during interactions. You might be even doing it to avoid shaking your leg or fidgeting with your hands (both being outright signs of nervousness and ill mannerism). But crossing arms and legs is actually considered a sure sign of displaying resistance towards the other person. So, the best way to show respect and confidence is to keep your hands folded lightly on your lap, occasionally using gestures to make your point, and keep your legs open and straight.
Some more tips to improve your non-verbal communication: Non-verbal Communication: Escape the Pitfalls
5. Posture – Sit up when you suit up How would you feel if someone you’re talking to is slumping or slouching on their back? It might seem like a lack of interest in you or what you have to say. It’s a sure way to turn the interviewer off as well. Practicing good posture is not only beneficial for professional discussions such as interviews but also helps improve your back. It is also an indication of attentiveness and confidence.
Watch this to learn how to sit right during an interview: Job Interview: Here’s how to adopt the right posture
6. Dress to impress, keeping the audience in mind While it is almost expected to adopt a formal look when going for interviews, it also depends on who you‘re interviewing with. Some industries actually promote a more casual way of working and that reflects in their way of dressing too. For example, advertising agencies and some early-stage startups have people walking around in t-shirts and jeans all the time. So, you must keep in mind the type of employer or industry you are facing before you decide what to wear.
Need help with your interview wardrobe? Take a look here: Interview Dress Code
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