Are there areas of your interview game that you want to shape up? Here are four things you can do throughout your day that will help you ace your next interview.
Practice Making Good Eye Contact with Friends
Do you find it difficult to make good eye contact? One of the best ways to improve this is to practice with people you know, and then move onto people who you deal with in low stress situations. Next time you are out with friends, make it a habit to look them in the eye when they are talking to you. Once you feel more comfortable with people you know, start making better eye contact with baristas, waiters, attendants, and other people that you may say a few words to. A week of doing this will yield results, as you’ll start to default to making eye contact without having to think about it.
Improve Your Posture
Many people have a tendency to slouch and they may not even realize they’re doing it. This can undermine your professionalism in an interview, so it’s worth practicing your posture. Start by noting your posture throughout the day, and give yourself reminders throughout the day to sit up straight and straighten your spine. Give people around you the okay to tell you when your posture starts to slip. While it may seem odd when you see it in the movies, walking around your room with a book on your head will help you get in the habit of standing up straight. Working on this won’t just make you look more professional at interviews, it will also help you stretch your body better, meaning you’ll get the extra bonus of getting rid of that stress building up around your neck and shoulders.
Achieve the Perfect Speaking Pace
Being a fast or slow talker is not necessarily a bad thing when you are around your friends, but when it comes to your job interview, you want to find a pace that is appropriate for your region and for the speaking patterns of your interviewer. Start with recording yourself (with the other persons permission, of course) while having a conversation. When you listen back, you’ll be able to note not only how fast you are speaking, but also when you speed up or slow down. Next, get yourself into the habit of matching your pace to the way the people around you are speaking. Finally, take a second before you start speaking, especially when answering a question, as it gives yourself a moment to collect your thoughts so you know what you are going to say before you start saying it.
In the Waiting Room? Use Your Time to Fight Your Fidgeting Habit
Are you a natural fidgeter? Whether you do it out of stress or you simply can’t sit still, it’s a habit that’s worth breaking before you start going in for interviews. You only get one chance to make a first impression with a hiring manager, and you want to present yourself as cool, calm, and collected as you wait in the waiting room. It will take some work, but the key to acing the waiting room is to put your phone away, and don’t give into the temptation to adjust your clothing and hair. Try this next time you are in a waiting room at the dentist, DMV, or wherever else your day takes you. Sit upright in your chair, with your hands in your lap, and a pleasant smile on your face. There is no need to make this a ‘mannequin challenge’, just be in the moment and remind yourself that you are going to ace this interview.
Posture! This is definitely the item I need to be working on daily. I am constantly slouching. I’ll catch myself doing it all the time, even as I was reading this article.