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10 Ways To Signal Strength In A Job Interview

I wrote tips to help you deliver a strong job interview before. But never this directly. This is about confidence and the delivery of your best stuff. At a time when it matters most.

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And especially when in a tough economy. With so many others out there wanting to outshine you. You have to deliver.

But first, here is a reminder of some job interview tips from prior content:

Get prepared for a strong job interview

I shared the free tool I used in a free interview prep tool for those close to an important job interview.  When your brain is ready, your head can relax a bit.  Knowing that you’ve done everything you can to prepare.

Relax and prepare your brain with the power of music

There is great power in music as a mind control device (the good kind).  You can read about the power of music during job search.  Right now I am listening to a powerful song.  One I often let ravage my skull on the way to job interviews.  It is The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart.  Now, you don’t have to be a lover of classical music to appreciate the strength of this tune.  Just think of how you felt during Star Wars or Indiana Jones.  Yep, all classical music rocking those theaters.  I would give this one a try on iTunes.

Get off to a great start

The first 5 minutes of any job interview are absolutely crucial.  It’s like the big game.  You don’t want to go down early, right?  You want to get a few good swings or kicks in early.  To build a little momentum.

Believe in yourself

In the person that has enjoyed great victories in a career to date.  Of course it’s all relative (perhaps my big victory is your cakewalk).  But no matter what, your head should be full of your past victories when you pull open the big door.  Least desirable, of course, is you feeling desperate.  Don’t be a desperado.   People can smell it.  Even if you are not coughing up humble pie.

Need a confidence boost? Find and turn up your dimmer switch

A great piece of advice I got once.  Whether you are heading into a job interview, a business meeting or your 25 year  high school reunion.  Find that extra bit of confidence.  Some more mojo.  Feel it rising in you as your head begins to turn the final corner toward the interview room.

And here are the new ideas.

Strong Job Interview: Ways To Signal Strength In A Job Interview

Let the company’s interview team battle over who gets to recommend you first to the hiring manager. 🙂

1.  A great handshake

Have one?

2.  A strategic “I don’t know”

Strategic doesn’t mean that you make it up. Or pick a place for it randomly. It means that on a question that you may have answered as best you can in the past, instead say IDK. It’s really too bad that LinkedIn has ruined those words. Because they really can be powerful. An honest expression and perhaps a starting point for conversation.  Instead of you pretending that you know it all.

3.  A pause before you answer

Sometimes everything is not on the tip of your tongue. And sometimes you aren’t able to anticipate every question in advance. So pause and think about it.

4.  Grab a chair

Without being too pushy, find the obvious or most obvious chair and grab a seat. Don’t ask if it is OK. Or hesitate. Just grab a seat.

5.  Stay still

While there is room for some movement, I’d rather you stay still in your chair. Excessive shifting or leg crossing does not signal strength. It signals “I’m not comfortable”. Stillness suggests focus and resilience. Strength. Especially during a long interview day.

6.  Smile

It says you are relaxed. And enjoying your interview day. Not everyone smiles. Many grimace. But that’s not a smile now is it?

7.  Ask great questions

Early on to create a conversation, in the middle to keep it going and at the end to make sure your knowledge of the company matches their understanding of you.

8.  Use first names

Now for some of you, this is your normal way of interviewing. For others, you wouldn’t think of it. After all, it would be rude to use someone’s first name, wouldn’t it? Really? First name = equality. There are some exceptions to this, of course. But generally, it works.

9.  Say hello

To others you meet in the hallway, in the restroom and in the cafeteria. It’s OK. You are not an experiment.  You are a potential new employee there. And you might even learn a little about the company’s culture based on the reaction you get.

10.  Have great stories

And specific examples. A lot of people deliver vague answers. The smart ones have a whole treasure chest of stories. Examples of big wins, tough challenges and an occasional failure they learned from. Specifics are really important. I don’t like to ask a question three times.

So what are your ideas?

What can job seekers do to deliver a strong job interview? Or deliver that same strength when meeting with a recruiter?

I look forward to your feedback in the comments below!

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Job Interview Tips

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