At a job interview

Do you get the feeling when an interview doesn’t like you? He doesn’t smile, the interview is short, and he’s rebuffed your attempts to build rapport.

Unless you do something about it, your chances of getting the job have pretty much dropped to ZERO.

Whether you like it or not, interviewers have biases. The way you look, talk, act, and all the interviewer’s first impressions of you can work terribly against you, even though there is really no basis to their bias.

Even without knowing it, interviewers and HR people may form a snap judgment on you based on a simple remark you make or an answer to a question. And since you all have different backgrounds, this is inevitable. You can’t expect everyone to like you all the time, or be impressed with the way you carry yourself.

In as much as you can’t really control how people perceive you or the way they react to you, career coaching experts offer job interview tips to help applicants overcome these interview biases.

Start well

The moment you walk through the door to your interview, never underestimate all the little non-verbal gestures you make. Remind yourself that you need to have a good start. Make sure you choose professional rather than stylish clothes.

Make sure to make eye contact with the people talking to you, but don’t stare them down. Carry yourself well, walk and sit in a god posture, carry a warm, sincere smile, but above all just be your-self. Interviewers will see through you if you are just putting on a front.

Build rapport

Find something you have in common with the interviewers. Talking about a common interest is a good way to start small talk and eliminate that awkward feeling in the air. A simple conversation about a common interest may draw the interviewers to like you; this is why building rapport is one of the more important job interview tips.

Be prepared

Look back on your professional career and be ready with stories that will highlight your key strengths. Think about experiences that will show your strength in areas that are required for the position you are applying for. When doing career-coaching sessions, I recommend applicants to prepare several stories or scenario-based answers that can highlight their skills and can-do attitude to the interviewer.

Tackle assumptions

Think of the problem areas that may arise during your interview. What areas of your professional career and experience may bring about negative assumptions? Be ready with the right answers to tackle these issues. The last thing you want is for the interviewer to have doubts in his mind about your capability to do the job—this may arise from gaps in your resume. Don’t get caught unaware with these questions.

Build up your strengths

Subtly lead the interview flow to areas that will build up and highlight your strengths and professional milestones. When possible, mention how you solved similar problems in the past or related successes you’ve had in your career.

The interview process can be challenge to applicants. No matter how ready you are for that big day, many unexpected things can happen.

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Paul Bailey

Paul is a highly experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Personal Development Specialist. He works with people to enhance business and personal performance through a process of supported self-awareness and self- development. Paul is the Co-Author of the book 80 Tips.