5 Ways to Make Yourself More Likeable in an Interview
While it's true that your resume, which is filled with a summary of your past successes, can get you into the door for an interview, it's not enough to keep you there. You've got to show the hiring manager that he would be happy to have you share a cubicle in the office where he works.
So when there's a job interview on your horizon, you'll want to know what to do to cash in on that one chance. And the only way to do that is to be likeable.
So here are five ways to make yourself more likeable in an interview..
Sound simple, right? But a forced, big toothy grin can come off as creepy. So spend a little time in front of a mirror and practice smiling a natural genuine smile. Smiles are contagious, so if you do it right, you'll probably find your hiring manager smiling right back at you. And that leads to positive feelings all around.
And speaking of positive feelings....
2. Be Positive
It's easy to be positive when everything is going well in your life. But right now, things might not be going so well for you. You're out looking for a job, which is stressful in itself. And it's hard to be positive when you are stressed.
Do it anyway.
Because no one wants to share an office with a Debbie Downer. If you come in and start complaining about the weather as soon as you walk in the door, more than likely the hiring manager will check you off his list of potential employees. Frankly, everyone hates a whiner.
So, along with the smile that's already on your face, come in with a warm handshake and a positive attitude.
3. Active, Reflective Listening
It seems easy, but most of us are guilty of waiting impatiently for a person to finish speaking so we can say what's on our minds. Instead of trying to jump in with your thoughts, practice active, reflective listening. All that is required of you is to slow down, listen to what the other person is saying and then paraphrase it back to them as a way of confirming that you understood their point. You'll be surprised how intelligent and interested you look to the other party.
4. Address Your Interviewer By Name
Principle number six in Dale Carnegie's book, How to Win Friends and Influence People is: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
And it's so true. We feel respected if someone remembers our name and it leaves a lasting impression on us. If you don't think it's that big a deal, think back to a time when someone called you by the wrong name. More than likely you felt disrespected and slighted, even though no disrespect was intended.
So when you are introduced to people in the office, repeat their names back to them to make a good lasting impression. And that means everyone... from the hiring manager to the receptionist. The more people you make a good impression on, the better.
5. Watch Your Grammar
This may sound trivial, but it's more important than you think. While you won't lose the chance at a job if you misuse a word, nothing makes you sound more uneducated than to say something as blatantly incorrect as, "Me and Jon were talking about that very same thing last week."
Most people do not consider themselves to be card carrying members of the Grammar Patrol. But the everyday usage of extremely poor grammar can make even the most tolerant among us cringe.
So if you've gotten into the notoriously bad habit of speaking the way a teenager does, work on it before the interview, and get rid of the phrases that make you sound like you skipped English class for a semester.
These five suggestions don't require a lot of thought or energy. With a minimal amount of practice, you should be doing these things naturally within a rather short time. Not only will they help you during a job interview, but doing them on a daily basis can enhance your career long after you get the job.