Many event management students approach interviews with a negative mind set. But it should be reassuring for students to remember that the interviewer is on their side even before the meeting.
A vacancy needs filling and interviewers hope you will be the solution to their problem. Here are a few tips to help convince them that you are:
First Impressions Count
Our Stone Age ancestors needed to make lightning-quick decisions about who they could trust in order to ensure their survival. This ability has been passed onto us through our genes. Most people make up their minds about someone within 7 seconds of meeting them. It is said that negative recruitment decisions are made just as quickly; the remainder of the interview being spent finding evidence to support those initial gut instincts. Smile when you meet your interviewer. Nerves can make you forget to smile so make a mental note to do so.
A Firm Handshake
A form handshake conveys confidence and trustworthiness but how hard should you squeeze? Imagine yourself squeezing an unpeeled orange in your right hand. The correct pressure for a handshake is the point slightly before the orange juice starts running! Firm but not brutal.
Put the Interviewer at Ease
Friendly chatter on the way to the interview room helps to break down barriers. If you feel confident in starting a conversation, it will help you to take control of the interview later.
If you don’t feel confident enough, don’t worry. You should have lots of opportunities to establish rapport later.
Enthusiasm is Often More Important than Experience
Believe it or not, the candidate with the greatest experience is often not the successful candidate. Time and again we see lesser qualified candidates steal the job with their enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is conveyed both with what you say and perhaps more importantly, with non-verbal communication or ‘body language’.
What You Say
Speak positively about past experiences. If you raise a hundred positive points and one negative point, you can rest assured that the negative point will remain with the interviewer.
Enthusiasm does not always come naturally so practice being positive by using phrases such as ‘I loved that job’, ‘That’s my favorite thing’ and ‘That’s what I’m best at’.
It is natural to want to recoil from a stressful situation like an interview. Consequently, interviewees tend to sit slightly back from 90 degrees.
Here’s an interesting exercise you can try with a friend. Place two chairs opposite each other, as they would be in an interview. Sit in front of your friend with your torso slightly back from 90 degrees and your back resting on the backrest. Ask your friend how they think you are feeling about them. Now shift your body position to slightly forward of 90 degrees. Rest your forearms on your thighs and move away from the backrest. Now ask if your friend’s perception of you has changed.
It is likely that you will now look more attentive and interested in your friend. This is ideal body posture for an interview.
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