Friday, August 14, 2015

Interview Like a Pro Series - It's not only what you say that matters

"Interview Like a Pro" is an ongoing series written by Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter, CFS New York

“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Preparing what you have to say is important, but that’s not the only type of communication you should be practicing. Actions really do speak louder than words, and you don’t want your nonverbal message to overshadow your verbal message.

The handshake: It’s your first encounter with the interviewer. He/she holds out his or her hand and receives a limp, damp hand in return – not a very good beginning. Your handshake should be firm (not bone crushing), and your hand should be dry and warm. Try running cold water on your hands when you first arrive at the interview site if they’re sweaty, and run warm water if your hands tend to be cold. The insides of your wrists are especially sensitive to temperature control.

Posture: Stand and sit up straight. We’re not talking “stiff as a board” posture, but show some energy and enthusiasm. A slouching posture looks tired, lazy, and uncaring. Check yourself out in a mirror or on video to see how you naturally stand or sit to see if it’s something you need to work on.

Eye contact: Look the interviewer in the eye when you’re speaking and when you’re listening. By constantly looking around the room during the interview, you convey a lack of confidence or discomfort with what is being discussed. You don’t want to stare, but eye contact shows that you’re paying attention. Occasionally, and nonchalantly, glance at the interviewer’s hand as he/she is speaking.

Hand Gestures: Talking with your hands is very natural, however, getting carried away with hand gestures distracts from what you’re saying. Also, avoid touching your mouth while talking. Watch yourself in a mirror while talking on the phone. Chances are you are probably using some of the same gestures in an interview.

Fidgeting: There is nothing worse than someone playing with their hair, clicking a pen, or tapping their fingers. Even though you might be doing it unconsciously, it really distracts from what you’re saying, and you don’t want your interviewer to focus on your fidgeting. Pull your hair back so it’s not in your face, bring a pen that doesn’t click, and rest your hands in your lap to stop from fidgeting.

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