Job interviews are one of life’s most stressful and exciting moments. It’s the opportunity for a new start, but a lot is at stake on both sides. For the interviewer, they want the right candidate for the job that fits in with their company’s culture and brings something new to the table. For the interviewee, they might need the job but they also have to consider how it will impact their career. Being on both sides of the experience, there are helpful tasks that can help the process run smoothly. Here are my presentation tips for a successful job interview.
Job interviews often focus so much on the candidate for the position, there’s little effort put towards introducing yourself. From the public speaking perspective, a presenter always allows time for their own introduction. Do this at the start of the job interview. Give an elevator pitch about yourself. This helps the interviewee feel less like they are talking to a complete stranger. Also piggy back your experience off of the candidate’s responses. If you can relate to a situation or story, make sure to share that. This lays out the building blocks for a relationship with the potential employee.
Throughout the interview, lean forward in your chair as the candidate is talking. This is one of many presentation tips that I learned in journalism school. This movement expresses interest and compels whomever is speaking to continue. If you want to know more about someone’s background in a certain field or how they handle conflicts at work, simply lean towards them. This gesture also removes bias. You are neither agreeing or disagreeing with the response, you are simply allowing the speaker to elaborate more on the topic.
You should always prepare your questions for every job interview, but don’t feel obligated to stick to the notes. Most job interviews run like a trial and error experiment. An interview should be more of a discussion than a Q and A session. Even the most experienced public speakers go off script during their presentation. It usually helps create an unforgettable moment. If an exciting conversation begins to unfold, let the moment happen. This will feel more natural for you and your interviewee.
Public speaking is a huge fear for many people. Whether it’s a presentation or an interview, it’s normal to get nervous. Everyone gets the jitters before a job interview. To stop yourself from shaking or fidgeting during the interview, go for a walk. Research shows that a 10-minute walk can help relieve anxiety.This is good practice for everyday life, but especially for a big moment like a job interview. Breathing exercises also help you stay calm and settle an upset stomach.
Presenters are always knee deep in the research for their topic. The same should go for a job search. An interviewee must do research before the interview, but take it one step further. Skyword offers this advice: “As you conduct pre-interview research, find something that you personally find intriguing or surprising.” This is a great way to show genuine interest in the job and the company. Your interviewer may be impressed that you took the time to research their company, and that you already have something in common with them.
Another way to show your interest and desire for the job is to follow up immediately. Just like the end of a presentation when you thank your audience, you want to thank your interviewer. It’s standard to send the “Thank You” email to everyone who interviewed you. This is an opportunity to clarify any concerns that may have been brought to light during the interview, like a scheduling conflict. It’s also a chance to promote your work. Let’s say your interviewer was interested in reading an article you wrote. As a P.S. note, attach the article or the link to it with a note saying, “By the way, here’s that article I wrote that you sounded interested in. I’m happy to share more of my work with you.”
Job interviews can be challenging for both the interviewer and the interviewee. Use these presentation tips to better present yourself and make a first impression. For more tips on how to present yourself, check out these posts from the Ethos3 blog:
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