This last year, I have had the opportunity to administer a few interviews for a position on campus. During the process, I had the chance to see the various communication tactics employed by prospective candidates. I do not think it is stressed enough that your attitude makes an immense difference during the interview process. Your experience and qualifications are important, but if you have a great attitude and motivation to work for a company they will recognize it. Your resume helps you get the interview and it makes you stand out on paper, but in an interview it is your time to shine. Here are a few tips for candidates to keep in mind when they are headed to an interview:
- Stay positive and motivated! It can be challenging especially when you feel like you are hitting a dead end with job searches, but always leave your issues at the door. It does not set a good tone for the interview if you seem distracted or you start talking about how tiring your day has been. That leaves the impression that your mind is concerned with more important issues than the interview at hand.
- Be on time! It’s imperative that you are on time (it is better to be early).
- Be prepared! Do your homework on the position and the company or organization that you are interviewing for. Don’t ask them questions that are already stated on their website! Look for key words in their mission statement and try to integrate those words during your interview.
- Ask questions! Don’t tell the interviewer that you don’t have any questions. Make a connection! An interview is not a one-way interaction. The first thing we learn in communication is that it is a transactional process. Therefore, build rapport and engage your interviewers to create that connection. Being friendly and sincere are the top two qualities that stood out to me.
- ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE! The biggest thing that frustrates me is when people seem melancholy or indifferent during an interview. Some people may not think they are coming off this way, but it is important to monitor your non-verbal communication. I have also seen people think that just because they have the experience for a position they are guaranteed the job. You have to find that balance between professionalism, and also making it evident that you want the job without being overzealous about it. The interview process may be intimidating, but let your true character and attitude shine during the interview and it will help you immensely in the end.
Sometimes it is difficult to remain calm and collected before and during the interview. To maximize your success and ability to let your true personality shine, I try to minimize my pre-interview anxiety in a couple of ways:
- Listen to a favorite song.
- Take deep breaths and try to count in your head.
- Sit in an area that is not crowded and take time to reflect on your positive traits and how you want to present them.
How important do you think attitude is during an interview?
How do you try and de-stress before an interview?
Teila Evans is a senior at Western Washington University majoring in Communication with a minor in French. She works as a planning committee assistant in the communication department. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and has a passion for French culture.