How to Talk Your Way Through a Job Interview
People often plan for a formal conversation and questions about everyday things when they get ready for a job interview. Still, some of the best job interviews are more like talks with the person in charge of hiring. Act like you’re talking to a friend or acquaintance at your next job interview. This will help you be yourself and feel at ease. This article explains why and how a job interview should be treated like a conversation.
Why does what is said in an interview matter?
It’s important to talk during a job interview so that you can connect with the hiring manager and show that you’re interested and comfortable. Conversations happen naturally and can make the interview seem easier than if you had prepared and memorized formal answers. If you think of the interview as a conversation, you might feel less nervous and be able to remember what you wanted to say better.
If a hiring manager enjoys talking to a job candidate, it’s likely that they will also enjoy working with that person. If they talked to a lot of potential employees that day or week, the ease of your interview might make it the one they remember the most. If you can make your interview into an interesting conversation, you might have an advantage over other candidates.
How to talk at a job interview like you’re having a conversation
You can do things before and during a job interview to make it feel more like a conversation between friends than like an exam or investigation. The following are:
1. See what you can do.
Do a lot of research on the company and the job before your interview so that you can talk about them in a meaningful way. The easier it might be to talk about your job and how you can help the team, the more you know about it. Spend some time looking at the company’s website and social media pages to learn about its mission, values, and culture.
Find out more about the person who is interviewing you so that you can connect with them during the conversation. Find their bio on the company’s website, look up their full name in a search engine, and check out their professional networking and social media profiles. Find out about their past jobs, their current role and responsibilities, and their personal interests so that you can talk to them and get to know them. You want to feel like you know the person you’re going to interview with before you walk into the room.
2. Try to relax.
Interviews feel more like conversations when you are calm and sure of yourself. In the days before an interview, practice talking about your skills and experience and answering common questions. This will help you feel ready and not nervous. On the day of the interview, get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and exercise to reduce stress and give yourself energy. Right before your interview, do breathing exercises or meditate to slow down your thoughts and calm down.
3. Start off in the right way
Start by making a strong and positive greeting and introduction. When you first meet the interviewer, smile, use their name, and give them a firm handshake. Keep your tone easy to talk to and friendly.
Talk about things that have nothing to do with the job at the beginning of the interview. For example, if you did research on the hiring manager and found out that they post a lot of pictures of their dog on Instagram, you could answer “How are you?” with “I’m fine, thanks for asking.” I was able to walk my dog for two miles this morning before it started to rain, so I can’t really complain.”
When the interview starts with a conversation, you and the hiring manager can both feel at ease and get to know each other. It also gives you a chance to show who you are and sets the tone for the rest of the interview.
4. Give nonverbal cues
Use your body language to connect with and impress the interviewer. Show that you are interested in what is being said by nodding, smiling, leaning in toward the person talking, and keeping eye contact. To make the connection even stronger, use the same posture and body language as the hiring manager. Also, watch the hiring manager’s body language and level of formality during the interview to figure out how casually you can talk.
5. Give the interviewer time to talk
Listen to the hiring manager so you can find out what you have in common with them, what their personality is like, and how they talk. You can also learn small things about the company or job. You can use this information to guide the conversation in the rest of the interview.
Don’t talk over the interviewer, because that can make the conversation go in a different direction. If you want to know more about what they said or have a question, you should wait until they’re done talking to ask it. If you cut them off by accident, say “I’m sorry” and let them finish. Conversations should go smoothly and not be cut off too often. You can, however, show that you are paying attention and listening by saying short affirmations like “I see” or “I agree.”
6. Talk about what you like to do and what you’ve done.
Find things the interviewer and you have in common and use them to get to know each other. Mentioning things you have in common shows that you’ve been paying attention. You also show that you are a friendly job candidate with similar interests who might be fun to work with. When you talk about things you like or know a lot about, an interview can quickly turn into a pleasant conversation.
Also, look for ways to connect similar experiences or problems. For example, the hiring manager might say that the company just got a new way to store data and that employees are still learning how to use it. You could say, “Oh, I used that program when I worked at Innovation Tech.” It took me a few weeks to figure out how to use all of its features, but once I did, I found it to be very helpful and up-to-date.
7. Give direct, honest answers to questions
Practicing your answers to questions and going over the most important things you want to say is an important part of getting ready for a job interview. Don’t try to remember the answers, though. Answers that come from the heart and aren’t planned are conversational. Keep your answers upbeat and positive by saying things like “Great question!” or other affirmations.
Give examples from your own life when you answer the interview questions to make them more personal. Use the STAR method to tell interesting stories. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This gives the interviewer a chance to talk with you and ask a follow-up question or say something.
When you answer an interview question, be honest and talk like you would in a normal conversation. For example, if someone asks you a hard question, you could start your answer by saying, “Wow, that’s a really good question. I’ve never thought that way about my future.” Then give the hiring manager your best answer or opinion instead of what you think they want to hear.
8. Make sure the length of your answers is right.
Use more than one sentence when you answer an interview question. Conversations can be stopped in their tracks by short answers that don’t say much. Know when you’ve said enough to answer the question so you don’t talk too long and lose the interviewer’s interest. Watch what they do while you talk to make sure they’re still interested.
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