Going through the hiring process for a job can be nerve racking, but few things can make a job seeker as nervous as the interview itself. While a resume and cover letter may be considered the first impression you leave on a potential employer, the interview is considered by many to be the ‘make or break’ moment, where one flub can make you feel like you’ve already lost out.
While having one or two slips ups may feel like they’ll cost you the position, there are multiple ways to turn it around! Doing this takes strategy and skill, but there are several ways for you to get a shaky interview back on track:
Anticipate difficult questions ahead of time
A question such as “why should I hire you” can be tricky and, unfortunately, not uncommon. Not being prepared, however, can quickly throw you off your game. To avoid this, draft a list of your most dreaded interview questions and decide how you’ll answer them. While it isn’t a guarantee you’ll be asked questions like this, you’ll feel much more confident if you go into the interview prepared.
Be aware of your body language
When you get caught off-guard during an interview, you may not realize how this can negatively affect your body language. For example, crossing your arms after a tough question can signal to an interviewer that you’re nervous and/or defensive regarding the topic they’re bringing up. To combat this, have moments during the interview where you make sure your shoulders are relaxed, your hands are in your lap, and you’re making eye contact with the interviewer. It’s easy to let these small things slip through the cracks, but displaying poor body language can cost you the job.
Many job seekers think a good interview is solely a direct question-and-answer session, but that isn’t always the case. While some interviewers are more formal and direct than others, finding a balance between that and a conversational flow is key. In order to initiate a more conversational tone, be sure to ask questions throughout the interview. Not only will this help to make the discussion flow more naturally, but it will also demonstrate to the interviewer that you’re interested in the position.
Send a thank you note
Regardless of how well you think the interview went, you should always send the hiring manager a thank you note within 24 hours. Not only does it show your respect for the hiring manager’s time, but it is your final opportunity to position yourself as the best candidate for the role. While your note should be brief and to-the-point, you can certainly expand on something from the interview to spark further conversation or address any lasting concerns.