So you brushed up your resumé, cover letter and LinkedIn profile, and they even successfully landed you that interview call. Excellent. But remember that these three things alone can only take you so far. You have to acknowledge that, at this point, you’re still going to appear the same as a few others, at least on paper. And the only way to get hired from here on will depend a lot on your personality.
Before you get all nervous at the prospect of sitting across a desk and answering tough questions, remember that an interview is just a personal interaction between two individuals and depends a lot on how well you connect. Ask any number of recruiters what really made them choose one candidate over the other, especially when they all had very similar qualifications, and the most common answer is: “There was a good cultural fit,” or a more honest, “Well, we liked that candidate better.”
And so here are some proven insider tips to ramp up your appeal and make you more likeable during the interview.
1. Be Friendly —Smile Often
Friendliness is the first and most basic element of likeability. Effortlessly smile when you first meet the interviewer. An endearing smile quickly breaks the ice, makes you seem attractive and confident, and transmits positive feelings. As a matter of fact, people who smile more are more likely to get hired and promoted. A good handshake immediately following a smile helps to make a great first impression. The firm but not aggressive handshake will convey that you are confident, social and professional — even before you utter your first word.
2. Be Enthusiastic —Express Passion
Maintain a pleasant expression and an open attitude that tells the recruiter you are happy to be there. Enthusiasm means sitting up straight and making eye contact with the person whose questions you are answering and leaning forward in your chair with your feet firmly on the floor. Remember to keep your arms at your sides, or use them to make friendly, conversational gestures. And project your passion in your voice when conversing.
3. Be Prepared —Demonstrate That You Are Ready
Preparation is key. Research the company beforehand, look up its website and use that information to prove that you really do know something about the company and employer. Your goal is to show the employer how you’re unique and how that uniqueness will provide the greatest return on his or her investment. Notice industry awards or achievements mentioned on the website and bring them into the conversation. Employers like to hire someone who is a good fit culturally just as much, if not more, than someone with the right qualifications, so this will make it easier to show why you’re a great cultural fit.
4. Be Giving —Share How You Can Add Value
Find out as much as you can about the job and the kind of job you are expected to do before you go to interview. This will help you frame your answers on what you can do for the company. Be ready with some ideas on how you can contribute to the organization and even take a mock project with you if you can. This will help the recruiter see how eager you are, how you can add value and how you can fit in. Always focus on what you can give.
5. Be Humble —Project Confidence Without Going Overboard on Arrogance
The secret to being likable in interviews is to find that fine balance of confidence and humility. Initiate the discussion using quantifiable accomplishments from the past to explain your vantage point. Back up every statement with facts and statistics to validate what you are saying. By staying humble you can turn the interview into a pleasant dialogue between two interesting people. Employers like to hire someone whose company they enjoy.
6. Be Honest —Exude Trust
Be sure that what you say is based on facts and do not add on skills you may not possess and duties you may not have handled. If you are asked a question that you do not have an answer to, admit your lack of knowledge honestly. At the same time expressing that you are keen to learn more on the subject will help to build trust.
If you are sincere in what you say, it will reflect in your conduct and tone of voice.
Better With Practice
Candidate likeability is a critical interpersonal skill that gets better with practice. You may find it hard to believe, but there are instances of people getting hired even without having many of the desired qualifications, just because they appealed to the employer more. And so, becoming more likeable is the real secret to getting noticed and getting hired.