By Capri Fiello
Your qualifications will land you an interview but they aren’t enough to land the job. Getting an offer letter often hinges on the impression you make with the people you’ll meet during your job search. The impression you leave is a telling factor in how well you’ll work with the rest of the team, whether you’ll excel within the company’s culture and if you have the right mindset to do the job well.
When you get to the interview stage of the job search process, the best way an interviewer is able to gain insight into your personality is by what you don’t say: either through your appearance, body language or other behaviors during the interview. A candidate that slouches in their seat, can’t make eye contact and nervously fidgets throughout the interview doesn’t instill confidence in their competency to do the job at hand.
Here are four tips on ways to impress beyond your answers to interview questions.
Find your confidence
Projecting self-confidence is the most important part of your interview. If you’re going to sell the hiring manager on your capabilities, you have to be sure of them yourself! This is easier said than done, as a lot of people struggle when meeting new people, especially under the added pressure of needing to impress someone.
Feeling good about your appearance is often a great step towards being self-confident. It’s good practice to have a couple go-to interview outfits that you know look flattering and make you feel good. Having a lucky accessory or piece of clothing can embolden you to feel more confident. If you have a lucky pair of shoes, watch, or jewelry – wear it!
Beyond your outfit, make it a point to address anything about your appearance that causes you to feel self-conscious – whether it’s concealing a pimple, getting your hair done, treating a cold sore, or whitening your teeth. Taking care of these details will help to minimize self-doubt and allow you to focus on the interview.
After empowering yourself through your appearance, you can continue to project self-confidence in your behaviors. Make sure to keep good posture, an open and positive facial expression and make an appropriate level of eye contact with the interviewer.
Nail your handshake
A handshake can tell a lot about someone. A swift, fumbling shake could mean someone is very nervous. A crushing, vigorous handshake could reflect an aggressive, pushy person. This is the only time you and the hiring manager will connect physically, nailing down a handshake that reflects a confident, sociable and competent person is a must.
For an ideal handshake, keep your right hand free when initially meeting the hiring manager so that you’re not fumbling with a briefcase or bag to free up a hand. Do your best to avoid having sweaty palms and match their grip so you don’t uncomfortably crush their hand.
Try practicing your handshake with someone who can give you feedback – even if it feels absurd. Having the motion well-rehearsed ahead of time can help to quell any nerves you may be feeling.
Sitting reservedly in your seat with a blank expression throughout your interview isn’t the best way to impress the hiring manager interviewing you. You should make an effort to be noticeably engaged with what the interviewer says by smiling and nodding as they explain something, leaning in slightly as they speak and laughing along appropriately with any jokes they make.
Demonstrating that you’re actively listening to them shows off your communication skills, as well as making it clear that you’re interested and passionate about the position you’re interviewing for.
One of the simplest ways to impress a hiring manager is to show up to the interview prepared with your own supplies, examples of your work and extra copies of your resume. Even though many times it won’t be needed, coming prepared is an easy way to set yourself apart from other applicants.
Even a simple moment like offering your interviewer a pen when they don’t have one demonstrates that you’re able to think ahead and offer support. It’s a very good, yet subtle, sign for how you’d operate in a team environment. Now nail that interview!