Your palms grow sweaty at the mere thought of your upcoming job interview.
You spend hours reciting lines, reviewing your notes and studying facts about the company.
You go to the interview, recite your perfectly memorized lines, and leave.
You find out later that you didn’t get asked back for the job.
So what happened?
This scenario happens all of the time. Many people focus on learning and memorizing facts to try and impress the interviewers. Although that part is important, it’s not enough. There are a ton of applicants that share the same knowledge as you so you have to stand out. The truth is that besides knowing your stuff, you have to be memorable and really connect with the interviewers. These are the skills that are transferable to any job you may have in the future!
Here are 3 easy tips to make a memorable first impression that will make you stand out from the rest!
1) Look the part
Research says it only less than 30 seconds to make a first impression and people are judging you partly by the attire you wear in that quick time frame. So of course picking an up-to-date, occasion-appropriate outfit is crucial. It’s really important that you wear clothes that fit you well, in a color palate that flatters your skin tone and is appropriate for the environment of the company. Pay attention to attire that makes you feel confident in as well. Women don’t be afraid to draw attention to your appearance a little bit by playing up the qualities that you’re most confident about. For example, if you have beautiful skin, wear a blouse that shows off your décolletage. Men wear a nice fitted jacket or suit with a tie that fits your personality which can make you stand out.
2) Pay attention to your body language
Another part of first impressions is the conscious and unconscious movements and postures by which attitudes and feelings are communicated.
93% of communication is nonverbal, so what you say is not as important as how you show up. You are communicating messages without even opening your mouth, and those messages are also being subconsciously ‘read’ and interpreted in a feedback channel of communication that forms between individuals in dialogue and certainly in an interview.
Be mindful of your facial expressions, gestures you make and tension in the body. For your facial expressions, make a lot of intentional eye contact when you talk and smile as you engage in conversation. This will make you appear focused, confident and friendly. As for gestures, pay attention to any habits you have such as biting your nails or twirling your hair which can make you appear anxious and disengaged. Instead keep a relaxed stature. You can use props such as pens, folders and purses to hold to keep you from doing any of those distracting movements.
3) Get personal and tell stories
No matter how detailed your facts are, if the interviewer isn’t invested in what you’re saying, information will be lost. That’s why if you tell a story in a way that is expressive, authentic and interesting varying your tonality and body movements, the receiver will find it interesting and want to learn more about you.
It’s okay to get personal, and in fact it’s one of the key factors in connecting with someone and making you more memorable. Letting someone know who you are and showing emotions and vulnerabilities will help you connect with them faster. The more you connect on an emotional level, the more someone will want to know you more and will want to hire you. Personal stories are a great tool in creating connectivity, being more memorable and inspiring action.
Remember, at the end of the day an interview should be more than just a Q&A session. It should be fun, interactive and engaging. When you fine tune your charisma and presentation, you will be able to land any opportunity that may come your way. And once you have these tools in your toolbox, you can take it with you no matter what job you land.
Originally posted on Medium