1) Firm Handshake
At the very beginning, whenever you meet your interviewer, you need to make sure that you greet them effectively. You’ve heard that first impressions count. Well, the handshake is an integral part of first impressions. The key is to be firm without being forceful. However, be particularly careful when your interviewer has a particularly weak handshake. You should also be able to adapt and ‘mirror’ alternative handshake styles. If you’re particularly nervous about the interview then it’s worthwhile rehearsing your handshake with a friend beforehand.
2) Good Eye Contact
One of the most common reasons for the interviewer leaving the interview with a negative candidate impression is lack of eye contact during the interview from the candidate. In a typical example of such a case, the candidate may leave the interview thinking that they have performed well. This is probably because they have answered the questions well, but looked away from the interviewer to concentrate on the answer to each question.
Making sure that you keep an eye on your interviewer will not only help you both have a better conversation, it will make your responses seem a lot less regimented, and a lot more believable. One trick that you could use if you’re struggling to use enough eye contact is to look in-between your interviewers’ eyes. They won’t be able to tell that you aren’t looking directly into their eyes and you may find it easier to focus on the answer to the question.
3) Good Initial Impression
A good initial impression is intangible, yet very important. You need to smile at the right time, ask the right questions, wear the right clothes, have the right hairdo, use the correct terminology – however if you can’t ‘relate’ to your interviewer then getting everything else right could be in vain. The key is being able to react to how they present themselves without loosing your own personality. Only practice makes perfect when it comes to making a good initial impression.
4) Noticing Your Surroundings
Noticing your surroundings is a great way of breaking the ice at interview. If you’re able to say things like ‘This is a great new building – has it recently been built?’ not only are you initiating a conversation to ease the interview process, you’re demonstrating your ability to influence and bond with people – a set of very important traits in most job roles.
5) Put Your Interviewer At Ease
Putting your interviewer at ease is one of the most important aspects of selling yourself effectively at a job interview. No matter how experienced the interviewer is, there will be interviews that he or she enjoys more than others. It is your job to make sure that your interviewer really enjoys the experience of interview, while still demonstrating your professional experience. A good starting point is being pleased to see them and discussing a topical issue.
This article will be continued in ‘15 Ways To Sell Yourself Effectively In A Job Interview – Part Two’.
David Bain is a consultant to - a specialist teaching jobs recruitment agency. U Teach Recruitment is based in Coatbridge, Scotland and brings schools and teachers together from all over the UK.