January 22, 2014

How you say things at interviews is just as important as what you say.

crossedArmsDid you know that…
Communication experts tell us that only about 10% of our communication is represented by what we say. Another 30% is represented by our sounds and 60% by our body language!

Obviously what you say at an interview will go a long way to securing you the job. However, how you say things also plays an extremely important role. In fact, some experts strongly contend that how you say things is more important.

As a job seeker it’s your responsibility to ensure that you prepare for both. Below you’ll find five very useful tips on how you should be saying things at an interview. Follow these tips carefully and you’ll definitely improve your chances of winning that job. Good luck!

1. Avoid saying anything that does not put you in a positive light: You’d be surprised how many people are critical of themselves at an interview. They’re just shooting themselves in the foot. Research shows that negative comments are:

a) remembered more easily and
b) attract follow up questions! The last thing anyone needs at an interview is follow up questions on negative points.

2. Don’t just talk about your skills and experience, try also to show how they can benefit your new employer: Try to think of ways your skills and knowledge will benefit the company. Putting yourself in the shoes of an employer really helps. Here’s a tip: All employers are very interested in: productivity improvements (efficiency), improved customer service, attention to detail and quality and flexibility.

Here’s an example for you: “My extensive skills in Word and Powerpoint means that I will be able to complete many of my duties quicker and with less mistakes than they are currently being completed. This will release me to assist you in other areas.”

3. Avoid timid or uncertain language: Because of cultural norms we tend to use slightly belittling language when asked to talk about our strengths. For example: We often use expressions such as: I feel I could, I think I could, Perhaps I would. All these statements weaken the statements that follow so avoid them as much as possible. There’s a big difference between “I feel I could do a good job” and “I could do a good job.”

4. Use examples as much as possible: Where ever possible try to use examples of what you’ve done rather than just using descriptors. Examples are entertaining and remembered more easily! If, for example, you’re asked to describe yourself, instead of saying things like: fair, honest and hardworking use examples that demonstrate these qualities.

Here’s an example for you: “ If we’re busy at work I’m happy to stay back until the work is completed. I feel guilty about leaving things half done and going home. Also, if there’s a problem at work I’m the sort of person who prefers to gently bring it out in the open rather than turning a blind eye or sweeping it under the carpet. Experience had taught me that problems not dealt with quickly tend to get a lot worse.”

5. How to be humble: If you feel that “I” statements are beyond you or that your intuition is telling you that you might be coming across as a little too bold there is a technique on getting your message across strongly but at the same time maintaining an acceptable level of humility. That technique involves using the third person. For example, instead of saying: “I’m a hard worker.” You can say, “My boss always used to say how hard I worked.”

Good luck!

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