Want to know one of the quickest ways to a hiring manager’s heart? Bring a healthy dose of energy to your job interviews!
“You wouldn’t believe the number of people who come in and act like they’re bored or like they’d rather be somewhere else,” said a San Diego-based software company exec. “I’ve seen candidates come in, casually lean their elbows on the conference table, and act like their experience should speak for itself—like they don’t need to sell themselves.”
Enthusiasm is infectious, so if you seem upbeat when you talk about your work, your interviewer is more likely to be on board with your candidacy.
Here are 5 ways you can bring energy to your next job interview:
Gesture to Add Some Panache
Many job seekers think they should keep still to minimize distractions. But gesturing can help you avoid looking stiff and make you more interesting. Think of it as adding some built-in visual aids while you’re speaking.
Science of People Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards suggests 20 hand gestures you can use (Warning: some strong language) to emphasize points and be more energetic.
For example, use your fingers as a visual to count off points as you’re making them. “We used a 3-step process to get more customers to sign up. First, we did A, second, we did B, and third we did C.”
Use your hands to “show” an increase (hand moves up) or decrease (hand moves down) when you’re talking about fluctuations in sales, productivity, or other business highs and lows.
Make sure to skip any clunky jewelry that might make noise when you’re talking. That will indeed be distracting.
Watch Your (Body) Language!
Body language speaks volumes when it comes to showing energy in job interviews. (Remember the overly casual candidates in San Diego?)
DO sit straight and slightly forward to show interest in your interviewer(s).
DON’T cover up your torso with crossed arms, or by holding a bag or a portfolio in front of you. This adds a barrier between yourself and the interviewer.
DO mirror your interviewer slightly. If they lean in, then you lean in a little more. If they lean to one side or another, then subtly adjust your position. Note: This technique requires some finesse and nuance, so practice beforehand with friends or a coach. DON’T mirror any negative body language such as crossed arms or fidgeting with clothes or hair.
Do a Voice Energy Audit
Do you know how you sound when you’re talking? The power of voice inflection is real!
Everyone speaks with some voice inflection, which is the variance of the tone and volume of your voice. Is your voice more monotone, animated, or somewhere in between?
Do a voice energy audit and record yourself answering a few basic interview questions. Do you project energy, using lots of inflection? Or do you tend to speak with less inflection, which can be viewed as disinterest or boredom?
Be aware of your natural inclination and then adjust by working on your speed and volume in your everyday conversations.
Bring Energy: Have a Sense of Humor
Job candidates have a lot to think about before the interview– what to wear, logistics, and how they’ll respond to a multitude of questions.
So it’s no wonder why people tend to be more serious than usual when they’re interviewing because the stakes are high.
Even if you’re a low-key person, show that you’re someone who’ll be approachable and easy to work with by showing your sense of humor. Add some levity when you can and remember to smile occasionally.
Prove Your Interest & Ask for the Job
Job seekers think their presence at the interview is enough proof that they’re interested in the position.
Whether you’re a well-established, VP-level candidate or brand new in your career, employers want to hear and know that you’re interested. This is a huge opportunity to show energy as you wrap up your job interview.
Your reply can be as simple as this:
“Thanks again for inviting me here. I enjoyed our conversation today, and I’d be incredibly happy to be your next operations director. What are the next steps?”
Which of these strategies will you try to bring energy to your interviews?
I’m Dalena Bradley, job interview and career marketing coach dedicated to helping you communicate your value, stand out from the competition, and win the job!
Contact me to discuss how we can collaborate.