1 year ago
I spend my days speaking with candidates who are looking to progress their careers.
For the vast majority of candidates, their reason for moving jobs is because they are unhappy in their current role or with their current circumstances. Identifying that it’s time to make a move is a brave decision, and taking the steps to find a role which is more fulfilling is most certainly the best thing to do.
Taking the first steps into looking for a new role?
What’s essential from here is that you remain positive about your decision and focus on the positive aspects of your desire to move. Nothing is worse than hearing someone drone on about how awful their current or former workplace is. Negativity breeds negativity so avoid it at all costs.
When it comes to your interview there may be another million reasons why you’re not feeling on ‘top form’; maybe this is the 10th interview you’ve been to, maybe you simply had a bad morning or traffic was frustrating. However, no matter how negative you are feeling, it is important not to let it show.
Even if you are the most highly qualified, skilled candidate, attitude is everything to an employer. Finding the best fit for their team and their business is their utmost priority so it’s time to put on your game face!
Here are my 5 tips for conveying a positive attitude in an interview:
Before any interview, whether internal or external, you need to create a positive mindset before you walk through that door. List your best qualities and experiences that you can use to express your previous successes and how these can fit into your new role.
Ask a friend to practice interview questions with you, getting you ‘in the zone’. Practice active listening to make sure you stay focused on the interviewer, understand what they are saying and answers they may be looking for.
Prepare for that age old question “Why are you looking to move”. Don’t get sucked into the trap of moaning about your current job, focus on what’s drawing you to this new role and new business. Speak positively of the experiences you’ve gained and what that will allow you to bring to their business.
When you look good, you feel good. Keep this in mind when selecting your outfit. This may sound obvious but wear something smart yet comfortable. Nothing is worse when you’re trying to answer a question and all you are really doing is praying the button doesn’t pop on your trousers mid-interview.
No trainers and no jeans. It may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many times we have heard this happening. Posture is also an important form of communication, stand up straight when you interviewer greets you and sit up straight during your interview. This posture will make you appear confident even before you say a word. If you slouch you may come across as lacking in confidence.
There is nothing worse than a terrible handshake. The saying on first impressions count- the handshake is included in this. Add a smile and thank them for taking the time to see you- you are straight into the good books from the start.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s no need to grin the whole way through the interview! An interviewer wants to see the real you, they want to see you looking confident and self-assured.
Once you have used as many forms of nonverbal communication to get it across to your interviewer that you are a confident, positive and credible candidate, now it’s time to talk.
If you are wanting to leave your current role due to any negative circumstances, the interviewer doesn’t need to know the details. They want to know what you’re going to bring to the company and its team.
It’s important to talk about what you’ve learned from different experiences and how these have helped you to develop. It is also good to discuss what helps you learn, what you want to learn and what you want to achieve in the future with this company.
Phrases such as ‘When I was researching (Company Name), I was impressed with…..’ and ‘I’ve been in similar situations and the experience has helped me to……’ are useful phrases to put a spin on potential negative experiences.
Using phrases such as ‘I have never made mistakes…..’ or ‘I don’t feel I need to improve on……’ are not clever. The interviewer wants to see that you are capable of dealing with a variety of situations and can overcome challenges positively.
Even if the interviewer asks you if you have experience with a task of which you know nothing, admit your lack of experience thus showing your honesty but emphasise your interest and enthusiasm in learning something new.
Some classic words to avoid if you can:
Leave a positive lasting impression
Interviews are a two-way process and when the conversation naturally flows between two people it’s likely that everyone will have a positive experience. Asking questions about the company, the interviewer and their experiences can be key to building this positive flow of conversation.
Upon exit, shake hands with the interviewer and thank them for their time. Make a point of letting them know you hope to speak again soon as the follow up from the interview is just as important as the interview itself. Make them aware you are expecting a call back to let you know if you are successful or unsuccessful.
Furthermore, once you get home, follow up with an email to thank them again for their time and to express your interest in their business. It will speak volumes about your attitude and the positive image you have built up for yourself during the interview.
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