Setting aside time to schedule in a face to face meeting shows a certain level of commitment from both sides of the table.
They’ve processed your CV and assessed your technical test (if applicable). You’ve poured over the job description, laid out your salary desires and weighed up the company’s working style, location, and culture. If there were any alarm bells at this stage, neither party is likely to waste time with a face to face. So far, so good. So, where can it go wrong?
Nalini Ambady from Tufts University may have the answer. In her study, people watching 30-second soundless clips of patient-physician interactions could correctly predict whether the physician would be sued. It had nothing to do with the level of competency of the physician, but how well they interacted given their body language and confidence.
When we’re assessed in an interviewee, we’re often assessed for our presence, our enthusiasm, how comfortable, authentic, captivating and passionate we are about our specialism and the role we're applying for. These attributes are traits of high-confidence interactions.
There’s nothing worse than coming out of an interview feeling that the interviewer didn’t get to see the real you, or your enthusiasm didn’t shine. So how do we make sure we’re our enthusiasm shines when it comes to the interview and we’re likely feeling nervous, and our least confident? We took to the fountain of knowledge and expertise from some of the world's most viewed TED talks to find you the best job interview preparation.
Listen to your interviewer
Listen with the intent to understand not with the intent to reply- Stephen Covey paraphrased
Our minds are often guilty in high-stress environments of preparing our next lines, funny anecdotes, engaging questions, whilst the person we are speaking with is still talking. Try to stay in the moment. Let other thoughts go, and try to fully understand and engage with what your interviewer is asking or disclosing to you. You will be far more confident in your response by fully engaging and listening to your interviewer than by preparing what your mind thinks is being asked. Find out more conversation tips from Celeste Headlee.
Lower your cortisol
Some people shine when they are under pressure, but science tells us that great leaders tend to exhibit high testosterone levels (our assertiveness hormone) and low cortisol levels (our stress hormone). This means that they can lay assertive actions whilst remaining calm and laid back. This is no mean feat to achieve, especially during an interview where stress levels are bound to be high. Cortisol clouds judgments, our ability to think logically and negatively impacts our ability to take part in a meaningful conversation.
The great news? Amy Cuddy’s study shows you can decrease your cortisol levels and increase your testosterone levels by 15-25% by adopting ‘power-poses’ for 2 minutes before an interview. Find a quiet spot, a bathroom, or lift, to conduct the poses as part of your interview prep to get yourself in the best possible mindset, it could be the most important thing you do to encourage the way you come across in an interview. *Full disclosure* some of the research has been under recent scrutiny, but adopting the power poses has never left you feeling less confident.
Speak with purpose
Are you a blame –thrower or a broadcaster? Julian Treasure walks through the 7 deadly sins of conversation that will ensure your interaction is positive, focused and engaged. That means leaving any gossip, judgments, negativity, complaints, excuses, exaggerations and dogmatic comments at the door, but it also means being mindful of your pitch, timbre, and prosody so that your utterances are delivered with confidence and fall on engaged ears. Warming up your voice and adjusting it to fit your delivery as well as knowing where to end your utterances so that they are declarative, assured, and to the point rather than unsure, can give a confident impact on your audience. Waffling or being inaudible or monotonic is sure fire way to make your interviewer zone out and will, therefore, make it harder to appear as your engaging, authentic and confident self. If you don’t know the answer to a question, be upfront, honest and eager to learn more. You’ll impress more by exhibiting these qualities than by forging your way through an bumbled answer.
Have any interview tips you'd like to share? Get in touch!
To all our cadidates going for interviews, we wish you all the best!