You have very few opportunities to prove yourself during your job interview. The initial first impression is one (which is why you must dress for the interview, smile, be clean, etc.). There is your resume and qualifications (if you worked in the business before, your answers are naturally more impressive). Then there is your ability to communicate. How well you communicate with your interviewers is an indicator of how personable you are, and the employers want to hire people that are personable. Below are several different tips for improving your ability to communicate at your job interview.
Communication Tips for Applicants
- Start Strong
First and foremost, as soon as you have an opportunity to speak, start talking. Talk loudly and confidently. If you start out shy or reserved, it is going to be very hard for you to get yourself to turn it on later. Start talking from the moment you say hello and you will be able to keep it up for longer without the nervousness kicking in.
- Talk First
Introducing yourself to people first is a good way to make sure that communication is instigated right away. Again, the more you defer to others to force you to speak, the harder it is to speak later. When you meet someone new, make an effort to introduce yourself first and engage in pleasant conversation.
- Make Eye Contact
People feel you are more friendly when you make eye contact. Part of communication is body language, so this eye contact is important if you want to make sure the interviewer (and anyone else you meet) appreciates your company.
- Be Friendly
You want people to like you in general. Being friendly is the best way to do this. People like nice people. This also means that you should refrain from sarcasm, since sarcasm – no matter how funny – has a natural unfriendly quality to it.
- Engage in Discussions
Interestingly, one of the best ways to open up great communication is to present a disagreement up for discussions. It is disagreements, not agreements, that stimulate good discussion. It’s hard to have a conversation when your only response is “Um… I agree, because of all the stuff that you said.” Don’t be afraid to disagree with your interviewer provided you present your argument in an interesting and friendly way.
Good Communication Will Help You Get a Job
Your ability to communicate is on trial at your job interview. If you can hone your communication skills, you should be able to impress employers with your intelligence and personality. Using the above tips, you will be able to engage in conversation and help yourself appear interesting to the interviewer.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Practice speaking first and often.
- Don’t be afraid to disagree.
- Watch your body language and stay friendly.
- Harvard Business Review article