Dos and Don’ts of Job Interview Body Language.

It’s an often-repeated myth that an interviewer will make up their mind about you in the first thirty seconds of a job interview. Of course, if this were true, interviews could easily be condensed and jobs would only be given to the best dressed people who have the best posture. First impressions are, however, massively important, and they can help shape the rest of the interview as a whole, and lead to more comfortable, flowing rapport. Your posture, body language, clothes and how you smile are all taken into account before the interview has even started, so it’s important to think about what your body language is saying from the moment you enter the building to the moment you leave. Interviewers can read you like a book, so give them something good to read.

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Do: Keep a straight posture. Don’t: Slouch or Remain Still.

Your posture can say a lot about you very quickly, so make sure to consider it when you first sit down. Slouching can make you appear disinterested and distant. Keeping entirely still can make you seem frightened and wooden. It can also make interviewers feel uncomfortable, when you really want to make them feel engaged so that you can really show them you in the best possible light. A simple trick to keep a good posture is to imagine that you’re head is being held up by a piece of string attached to the ceiling. You can also lean forwards slightly, as this demonstrates that you are listening with interest and that you are excited by the job opportunity. It’s important that your posture says that you are relaxed but confident, as this will project how you sound and make you seem like a very capable and enjoyable person to work with.

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Do: Keep a sensible distance between you and the interviewer. Don’t: Invade their personal space.

While it’s important to lean forwards to show you are really paying attention, make sure there is a sensible distance between you and your interviewer. Sitting too far away gives the impression that you don’t care all that much and that you are keen to leave as quickly as possible. Sitting too close will make the interviewer feel uncomfortable, and comes across as being aggressive.

Do: Keep eye contact. Don’t: Stare.

Make sure to look your interviewer in the eye. You can gauge their interest in what you are saying so that you can zone in on subjects that impress or interest your interviewer, and you can also make a more personal bond with them. Make sure not to stare at them constantly, however, as this can make you appear vacant or shy. Staring deep into their eyes can make an interviewer feel uncomfortable, and is another signifier of aggression. You want to project a comfortable and confident image through your eye contact as much as your posture. If there is more than one interviewer, make sure to look at the person who asked you the question you are answering, to show that you are fully engaged with them all.the-expert-10-job-interviews-1044848-flash-1044848-flash

You should generally maintain eye contact for about 7-10 seconds at a time. Looking at what your interviewer is doing, and taking stock of your surroundings can also make you appear attentive and excited by the building you hope to work in but constantly looking around may also make you appear less open or interested. For example, don’t stare at the picture on their kitten calendar, see if you can see anything interesting coming up later in the month instead.

Do: Keep an enthusiastic expression. Don’t: nod constantly.

Your expression can really magnify what you are saying in a job interview. If you are telling an interviewer that you are really excited by or passionate about something, make sure your expression is also saying it as well, otherwise they won’t be very convinced. Smiling will make you seem like an approachable, enthusiastic person and a positive person to work with. You don’t want to appear as though you are just memorising and repeating your answers either by leaving your expression blank, as this is less likely to lead to a conversation where you can go into more detail about anecdotes from your professional life.

Nodding can also be easily overused. Bobbing your head like a nodding dog gives the impression that you are not really listening, just absent-mindedly hoping to appear interested. Nod sparingly when they say something that really is interesting to you, and show your engagement with an enthusiastic, attentive expression throughout.

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Do: Use hand gestures. Don’t: Fidget.

You’ve got your posture and expression confident and comfortable, but what do you do with your hands? You want to keep your hands where they can be seen. Having them behind your back gives an air of dishonesty, keeping them in your pockets appears disinterested. It also inhibits your movement, and can make you come across as being stiff or nervous. You can use hand-gestures to emphasise something you really want the interviewer to pick up on, but if you over-do your hand-gestures you can seem aggressive, or over-rehearsed. It’s important to keep your shoulders facing your interviewer, and use hand gestures that are open and confident to underline what you are really passionate about. You can also mirror the body language of your interviewer, as this can help them engage fully with you. But don’t mirror everything, as this can be transparent and make an interviewer feel self-conscious.

coverMake sure not to fidget either, as this can distract an interviewer and make you seem nervous. If you bite your nails, keep that under control for the interview. Remember, you can always have a good chew on them when you get home. Zone in on any physical tics you have, so that you can make sure you are not doing them when you are in an interview. Avoid rubbing your nose or neck, as this gives an impression of dishonesty and a lack of confidence. Touching your lips, nose or ears is a sign of lying, so even if you aren’t telling a fib, make sure to avoid touching your face when talking. When you are not using your hands, keep them clasped loosely in your lap or resting on your knees. Keep both feet on the floor, and don’t jiggle either of them constantly, as this is a tell-tale sign of disinterest or a burning desire not to be there anymore.

And finally,

You want your body language to give the impression that you are comfortable and open but really interested in the position at hand. Of course, you shouldn’t spend the interview constantly thinking about your body language. Just make sure to check over the body language you should and shouldn’t use. Preparation beforehand is always the best way to help you relax and be positive in a job interview, and if you feel relaxed and positive, this will be reflected in your body language as well.

Louis Clayton | Strike-Jobs.co.uk Journalist

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The Worst Case Scenario, or Why Your Job Interview Will Be Fine.

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, and nervousness can push a person to do all sorts of silly things. There are some smaller generally bad things you can do in an interview, like avoiding eye contact or making a constant whining noise, maybe pinching your nose and whooping every time someone uses a verb, but there are considerably larger more damaging things as well. If you have a job interview coming up and you’re a little nervous, let’s explore the absolute worst that could happen, so that your job interview doesn’t seem so overwhelming and frightening, and you won’t be so nervous you do something silly.

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Interviewers often like to ask the question, “what would you say your biggest weakness is?” This is the perfect opportunity for you to tell them how you just care too much, you’re almost aggressively punctual and that you’ll never forgive yourself for that time in 2002 when you forgot to add an attachment to an e-mail that still sometimes keeps you awake at night, although not late enough to effect your punctuality. A bad thing to bring up in interviews is any anger management issues. It’s especially bad if you then go on to relate a long anecdote about that time you punched a man in administration because he held a stapler like a pen. One person once told an interviewer, “I was fired from my last job because they were forcing me to attend anger management classes.” It’s impossible to tell how such a thing would make them feel. Another interviewee said, “Would it be a problem if I’m angry most of the time?” This person knows what they want from life. Maybe it really helps them focus.

Generally, a bad weakness to admit having is many, many weaknesses. People might not see that as a fantastic opportunity to teach you new skills and build you from the ground up. One of my personal weaknesses was being unable to keep eye contact. So, in my first proper job interview I decided to stare at them, really go for it, and ended up focusing so hard on keeping eye-contact that I had absolutely no idea what was being said in the interview. I nodded during pauses and said yes a lot, and somehow ended up getting the job. But after the interview, I realised that I had no idea what the job actually was. It turned out to be a sort-of pyramid scheme-lite.

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Apparently, an interviewee once fell and broke his arm in an interview. Apparently in the sense that I found the sentence on a website called Linky-Dinky, so I’m going to take it as fact. It doesn’t say how it happened, which is somehow worse. Possible reasons are that the interview involved wrestling a horse, which is a really good judgement of character, or the candidate was standing on a chair to assert their dominance, which is a really good judgement of dominance. And Chair strength. But the mystery may never be solved.

Other things to avoid during an interview is bringing a pet or wearing a costume. Which has definitely happened, maybe even both at the same time. You risk unleashing all sorts of potential allergies and dog eggs all over the carpet. But you could potentially scare an employer into giving you the job with a massive dog or a flock of poorly trained jackdaws, so that’s something to bear in mind if you’re still really nervous. But, if a pet is more engaging and adorable than you are, there’s always a chance it’ll get hired instead.

Although halloween is just around the corner, coming to a job dressed in a costume might be seen as being a bit inappropriate. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing the most historically accurate ruff ever, you probably won’t get a job as a museum curator. Even going to a film audition in full costume is often frowned upon. Although, everyone knows that a suit and tie is the real costume here.

Crying is also a common interview faux-pas. This will make you look over-emotional and incompetent, rather than passionate. If a company could hire a robot to do the position you’re looking at, they would, and any crying is a harsh reminder of your weak human interior. Although, a robot could definitely do what they do. It wouldn’t be too hard to programme a bin to ask where you see yourself in five years.

So, hopefully that’s cleared up any paralysing fear you had about your impending job interview. And in serious danger of giving actual advice, always remember to prepare and rehearse as much as you can before an interview. You can never be too prepared for an interview. Unless you consider getting the dog into the lift and to the interview preparation. Then maybe dial it down. Prepare your answers, talk to yourself in the mirror, look into the eyes of a winner. Make sure you have questions to ask them afterwards, to show that you’re really interested in the position and willing to learn. Practice the firmest of handshakes, take a deep breath and don’t panic.

Business Insider has a great article here about how best to spend your fifteen minutes before an interview.

Louis Clayton | Strike-Jobs.co.uk Journalist

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If You Can’t Say Passionate, What Can You Say?

Passion has become somewhat of a dirty word. To some employers, it can be like nails on a chalkboard, while to some it’s a great word that demonstrates enthusiasm without being frightening or obsessive. Can you really describe yourself as passionate about bathroom tiles or filing? People might think you’re mad. Are you a passionate person, or do you just enjoy things loudly? Another problem is that everybody uses it. It can be hard to stand out when everyone else applying is passionate about the same thing. But what can you use instead? Before charging off with a thesaurus and hoping for the best, let’s have a look at the alternatives.

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It can often depend on the job. Sometimes describing yourself as passionate about something like data handling or account managing can sound a bit too strong, even if you really want the position in question. A better word in this situation would be to describe yourself as committed, as it also implies a certain degree of success, and a long-term loyalty to the position. Committed also says that you are able to keep a clear head while working. Passionate, meanwhile, says foolhardy and blinded by your own love of something.

Saying that you’re passionate in a job interview is also a piece of information that someone conducting an interview can’t really do anything with. Sure, you can tell them that you are really passionate about something, but they have probably heard that several times that day already. It doesn’t demonstrate any results in your professional history. Instead, listing a number of examples where you can prove your enthusiasm and commitment is a much more tangible method of showing your passion without even having to say it.

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Passionate as a word, used to mean an intense burning devotion and interest, almost to the point of being completely obsessive. It should be a laughable hyperbole almost all of the time, but it’s been so diluted that you can now describe yourself as being passionate about anything. In the world of business, particularly, it’s an important word to avoid. Instead, go for words such as focused, knowledgeable, loyal and specialised, which demonstrate attention to detail as much as they do enthusiasm. And make sure to continue to back up these claims with examples. Sometimes they might not even have to come from professional experience, if you can demonstrate these aspects from examples outside of the world of work, you can add that extra bit of personality during a job interview or on your CV.

Louis Clayton | Strike-Jobs.co.uk Journalist

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How do you get the job in 20 seconds

Article about how do you get the job in 20 seconds

Article about how do you get the job in 20 seconds

Do you need interview tips?

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation!

The first tip to get the job in 20 seconds is preparation. Before you step into the employer’s office, you need to be able to know who they want, what they want. Most importantly, you need to know why you are the best candidate and how your experience only confirms this.

If you don’t know the answers to these questions and express them during the interview, the interviewer will possibly leave the interview wondering why they asked to see you. This information can usually be found on the person spec, job description, websites and social media, so be sure to have your research cap on and take notes. This also gives you an opportunity to see if you would like to work for the company.

Always prepare for the question “Tell me about yourself”, highlighting your skills and experience that is specific to the role. It shows you are eager, prepared and excited about the possibility of this new opportunity. Remember to keep it short, you don’t want the interviewer snoozing before you have had a chance to shine.

Confidence

Another key to getting the job in 20 seconds is confidence. While it is true the interviewer has most of the power, keep in mind they must have seen something interesting in your CV and cover letter that made them go through the trouble of inviting you for an interview. With the right prep, you can go to the interview knowing you have the skills and ability to be the best candidate and get the job.

Ever heard the phrase “You are what you eat”? Well, you are also what you wear. If you know you look good, you will feel good, even if it is putting on your lucky boxers or your favourite blouse. Feel comfortable in your outfit and make sure it is suitable for the role. At least you will have one less thing to worry about in the interview.

Before you enter the building and the interviewer introduces themselves, take a deep breath, confidently walk for 20 steps, give a firm handshake and look them in the eye, smile and introduce yourself. In those first few seconds, the interviewer is forming an opinion of you before you have sat down, so give them the best you and make them want to give you the job. After all your hard work, you deserve it!

“In those first few seconds, the interviewer is forming an opinion of you before you have sat down, so give them the best you and make them want to give you the job.”

Body Language

Sometimes it’s not what you said but what you didn’t say that didn’t get you the job. In his book Silent Messages, Professor Albert Mehrabian says when a speakers voice doesn’t match what they are saying, the listener picks up on 55% of communication through body language, so it is important to get this right in the first 20 seconds.

If an interviewer walks in and sees you staring into space, slouching or even yawning, their immediate perception will be you don’t want to be there. If there are other candidates waiting, try starting up a conversation and finding out about them. If the interviewer sees you are engaging with others, they instantly will see you have good communication skills, confidence and that you want to be there. If you are sitting on your own, make sure you are sitting upright, attentive, reading things on the walls or a relevant book. Make sure you keep a half smile so you appear approachable. Remember, you are also a stranger to the interviewer.

One of the signs of lying is lack of eye contact. The problem is it is difficult to distinguish no eye contact from lying or just plain nerves. It is important you keep good eye contact, not just in the first 20 seconds but throughout the whole interview because the interviewer might start to wonder if you are right for the role.

So, to get that job in 20 seconds you need to be prepared, stay confident, smile, make eye contact and act like you want to be there. After all, if you get the job, you will be spending a lot more of your time there, so make the interview count!

Nathalie Lot | In House Journalist | Strike-Jobs
22/08/2013

Article Published: balticpublications.com

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Interview Survival Guide

INTERVIEW SURVIVAL GUIDE


What NOT to do in a Job Interview:

The thought of crumbling in a job interview is daunting for anyone. Everyone has to do it at some point, but understanding the right interview etiquette can sometimes be hard to grasp. Advice based articles on what to remember to do in an interview are always bombarding the web, but job hopefuls need to be aware of what NOT to do. Leading graduate recruitment consultancy, Graduate Recruitment Bureau gives top tips on what to avoid to ensure a smooth and successful job interview:

1.      Arriving overly late or early:

Being late looks careless and unprofessional; being too early looks overly keen and a bit desperate. Arrive around 15 minutes early to read over notes you should have on the company, and be prepared. You may not be in the interview room yet, but your first impression is definitely crucial.

2.      Inappropriate presentation:

Nose rings, visible tattoos, scruffy hair, and informal clothes – none of these would go down too well in the interview room. Ensure to dress smart as it is a mark of respect for the interviewer and will show you are serious about the job role. Depending on the type of position, the expected form of dress may differ. For example, wearing a suit may be required if applying for a managerial role, whereas a more smart-casual look is accepted for positions with less responsibility.

 

3.      Interrupting the interviewer:

Even if you think you have the most amazing answer to the interviewers question or you think you know what they are leading up to ask, stop and WAIT. Sit tight and wait until they have finished. You may misinterpret what they are saying and go off on a tangent which won’t come across well.

4.      Keeping your phone on or answering your phone:

Simple but easily forgotten. Turn your phone off. And if it does go off, do NOT answer it. Keep it in your bag, and do not even be tempted to look at it. Wait until you have left the interview – your texts and Facebook notifications can wait!

5.      Asking about holiday time or sick days:

Remember, you haven’t got the job yet so avoid asking these questions. This sort of information would be discussed at the negotiation phase so do not bring this up unless the interviewer does. Our very own recruitment team experienced a candidate who enquired on the company’s disciplinary policies – and followed up with a question on how many written warnings are given out before dismissal – A perfect example of what NOT to do!

By Yasmin Codron, The Graduate Recruitment Bureau

What To Do Following A Job Interview

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The Waiting Game

Having successfully passed the application process and endured the nerve racking job interview, you are now left in anticipation awaiting a response from the employer confirming if the job is yours or not. This wait can cause a lot of stress, which leads to over thinking the situation and doubt begins to set in. To avoid panic while you await the employers response, follow these simple steps.

After The Interview

Don’t Stop Job Hunting – Even if you are extremely confident that the position is yours, don’t stop applying for other jobs while you await a response. Having more options available to you is always good in the job-hunting process; this is also a great technique to burn off all that nervous energy while you wait.

Reflect – Good or bad, it’s important to look back on your job interview and consider what you believe you answered well and what you didn’t. You can always take something away from the job interview that didn’t quite go to plan by thinking about how you can improve in the future.

Follow-Up – A couple of days after your job interview; send a follow-up email. Try to go a little further than just saying ‘thanks for your time’ however; an email referring back to the key points of the interview will really work well in your favour. Sending a follow-up email shows a further keen interest in the role and keeps you in their mind during the elimination process.

Don’t Freak – It’s important to try and not stress out too much while you await a response following the interview. Employers can often take a couple of weeks to make their final decision, especially if they have interviewed a large amount of people for the same position, finding the right candidate it vital and this takes time.

Is It Really For You? – Sounds crazy as you applied for the job in the first place; but taking the time to consider if the job is really for you is also important. Following on from your visit to the location, the premises, meeting the manager and colleagues, does it really seem right for you? Many job seekers often go in headfirst accepting the first job opportunity that comes up. However, if you are going to spend many hours of your life in that job, try to find one that will make you happy.

Telephone Interview Advice

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Many businesses are now opting to use a telephone interview to screen potential candidates before offering face-to-face interviews. The increase in popularity of a telephone interview is growing because companies can save a lot of time and interview more applicants for the position.

A telephone interview can be very daunting for candidates for various reasons, it is difficult to express yourself to the same extent as the procedure eliminates body language and it’s more difficult to tell what the employer is thinking in response to your answers.

Many job seekers have been known to take a telephone interview less serious, however it is your initial opportunity to shine and gain a face-to-face interview. It’s important to take advantage of a telephone interview, for example it’s an opportunity where you can have your CV, notes and any other relevant documents to hand, this generally isn’t possible in a face-to-face interview.

If you’re having trouble thinking about an up and coming telephone interview, take the time to read our guide on how to produce a successful telephone interview.

Be Well Prepared  – Treat a telephone interview like a face-to-face interview, research the company and the job role before the interview takes place. Make sure you know the time of the interview and be ready with your phone at least 10 minutes before the interview time. Take notes on any question you may wish to ask the interviewee at the end of the interview.

Find The Perfect Location – This is crucial when aiming to deliver a strong and clear telephone interview, find somewhere comfortable and quiet with minimal background noise.

Have Important Documents At The Ready – This is one key advantage over a face-to-face interview; you can have your documents to hand. Ensure your CV is in front of you, along with any notes you think will be valuable during the interview.

Keep It Real – Don’t approach a telephone interview as an excuse to stay in bed or sit back on a recliner. It’s important to make the experience as realistic to a face-to-face interview as possible. Be, showered, dressed and ready.

Smile – Although body language is effectively eliminated in a telephone interview, the person on the other end of the line can sense if you are smiling. A smile will sustain a more positive conversation and reflect enthusiasm for the job role.