I’m often asked for job interview advice. “ Be yourself ” sounds trite, but it means so much more than that.
Show your passion, show your enthusiasm. Don’t go over the top, but if you are interviewing without a smile or any level of excitement in your voice…is that really how you feel? If it is then this isn’t the job for you. If you are interested in the company, the job, the culture…let the person interviewing you know that.
Some people only seem to get excited when they are talking about how bad it was in their last job. Be careful what message that sends. See post on complaining about former employers – http://www.calm-water.com/why-do-you-want-to-leave-your-current-employer/.
Common mistakes include staring at your feet, hands or cell phone (yikes!). Eye contact is important. I’m not suggesting you bore a hole into someone’s head staring at them, but at least look at the person you are talking with so they know you are paying attention. It goes along with nodding, smiling and making sounds that indicate you are following what they are saying.
There are some wonderful deep breathing exercises that help with nervousness and it’s common to be nervous, in fact it’s expected that you will be nervous. It’s a very rare person who breezes through an interview with no level of shakiness.
I’m amazed at how many hiring managers tell me they want someone with a sense of humor. Yes, they want the technical knowledge/skills and the positive attitude and the detail-oriented, hard working person…but a smile and a sense of humor goes a long way as well. If you’re too rigid and shut down during the interview to let who you really are out, the odds are the smile and that quality of humor won’t be there either.