So, you’ve passed the resume test and beaten countless others to the interview post! Very nice work, but while you might look great on paper, the real test begins in the flesh with the interview.
By now we all know that eye contact and a firm handshake are imperative formalities when trying to impress your interviewer. Yet what are the keys to truly standing out above the rest and making not only a good impression, but a lasting one?
Firstly, lighten up. Regardless of what comes out of your mouth, you need to demonstrate that you can smile and that you have a personality. By the same token, you’re not auditioning for the circus so keep yourself in check, but show your interviewer you’re not made of wood either. The trick is to be likeable, creating an overall impression of someone who would be good to work with. Hopefully that’s you.
Keep your hands still. Lots of gesturing and movement are actually signs of nervousness, discomfort and uncertainty. Being able to articulate your responses without fidgeting about all over the place will showcase you as calm, comfortable and sure of yourself. It’s all about composure.
Sell yourself – but not too much. It sure is an artform knowing when enough is enough. Of course you are there to sell yourself, that’s the whole point (although some forget to sell themselves entirely) and it’s crucial that you believe in your product and know your strengths and weaknesses. Examples of achievements are good to have on hand also. Just don’t go overboard. A couple of examples will do, unless prompted for more, and if you’re letting your answers go on for minutes, then reel yourself in and keep things succinct and relevant. Nobody likes an egomania.
Lastly, offer something for free. Perhaps you could offer to assist with part of a project, submit a sample of some kind, suggest a demonstration document. It’ll form part of your very enthusiastic application and make you surely stand out from the rest… as long as you follow through with the goods of course.