Have you scored a job interview? Congratulations! Preparing for job interviews can hectic and anxiety-inducing. Job interviews during the summer typically have an extra layer of stress added to them – especially students free from the responsibilities of school – whether they are graduated or not. Positive first impressions go a long way towards helping you secure that job you’re interviewing for. Here are some job interview habits to stay away from.
No matter how nerve-wracking the prospect of a job interview can be, it’s important to relax. Coming into an interview as feeling as relaxed and confident as possible helps make a good first impression. Practice your handshake as much as you can, since poor handshakes could leave a bad impression. During the actual interview, this part is easy to overlook. Beyond the standard handshaking motion, be sure to initiate eye contact and keep a wide smile. Lean in toward the person you are meeting to signal your engagement and be sure to keep your shake below the elbow. Going above the elbow might be a fine way to greet friends and family, but don’t use it during the actual interview. Also, remember to end your shake before it goes on uncomfortably long; five shakes at most is enough.
As noted above, eye contact is a key part of improving your handshake. Eye contact implies your confidence in yourself and in your fitness for the position. Keeping solid eye contact also signals you’re actively listening during the conversation portion of the interview. If you don’t make eye contact, it could send all the wrong signals. For instance, the interviewers might start to feel uncomfortable, or they might also begin to think you are making light of the professional setting at hand.
Playing with your hair is another bad habit in an interview. Fidgeting with your hair can come across negatively, especially when it comes to professionalism. Professionalism is an important part of influencing the decision to hire you. Don’t give the impression that you are not professional. Stay engaged and coherent in the conversation. If you seem uninterested in the conversation, it’s a bad sign.
When answering questions, keep it short and sweet. Precise answers are best. Don’t say too much or overshare during your actual interview. Try not to use such words as “like” or “um” or “you know”. Keep your answers related to the questions you were asked.
Body language is a vital consideration in any professional setting. During a job interview, body language is far more important than usual. Sitting up straight is not only better for your back, but it can also help you feel calmer. Calming down can help you avoid many of these other anxiety-induced actions or habits. If you don’t maintain the proper posture, you run the risk of coming off too casual. You might also unintentionally indicate boredom.
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