Beat your competition with this one job interview secret
Landed an interview for a job you really like the look of? Congratulations! But now you have the task of fighting for the title.
Thankfully, we have one job interview secret that will help you beat your competition.Recent research
from Fast Company revealed some of the worst ways to answer common interview questions, and these poor answers all had something in common.
A lack of self-awareness.
Therefore, self-awareness is key if you want job interview success. Here’s how you can stay in tune with your self-awareness throughout an interview, and how to use it to your advantage.
Read the situation
Firstly, use your self-awareness to read the situation at all times. That way, you can be sure you are responding to questions and interacting with the interviewer appropriately.
Be sure to listen carefully to the prosody
of the interviewer (that’s tone, intonation, pauses, sarcasm of language) as it can reveal whether the interview is going well or not.
In addition, UCLA research suggests that 55% of communication
is based on body language, so you can give yourself a leg up if you stay aware of yours and your interviewers.
Crossed arms, for example, suggest a resistance to ideas and a detachment, and raised eyebrows signal discomfort. Copying body language however, creates a bond, and hand gestures help emphasise words, making you appear more confident and credible – just make sure you don’t turn it into a dance party.
Use the STAR technique
Another way to support your self-awareness in a job interview is by using the STAR technique.
While the primary use of this method is to ensure you provide enough detail in your responses, it also helps you keep an eye on timing. This is because the STAR technique breaks your answers down into four chunks, meaning you can mentally check off each section as you talk (providing you’ve done your preparation!).
As a result, by using this method, you ensure you’re not waffling on and are instead providing a comprehensive answer that the interviewer is looking for.
Engage in genuine conversation
Another way to use your self-awareness to your advantage is by engaging in genuine conversation with your interviewer.
If you’ve prepared for your interview effectively (by using the STAR technique, we hope) you should be able reel off an answer, no problem.
However, it’s important to mould your response to the question the interviewer is actually
asking you, rather than robotically reciting your prepped bullet points. This will help keep the flow natural.
In addition, try to bounce off the conversation to create a bond with your interviewer. Remember that you won’t just be asked common interview questions, there will be small talk, comments and quips and you’ll be expected to ask some questions at the end, too.
Therefore, by engaging naturally with the interviewer and creating genuine conversation, you show you’re a perfect fit for their company culture.
Be honest, but not too honest
Another way to beat your competition with self-awareness is by being honest, but not too honest.
You may be faced with tricky interview questions such as ‘What’s your biggest weakness?’
– here the interviewer wants you to recognise and discuss your pitfalls. But if you’re not self-aware, you could do some serious harm.
For example, you don’t want to reveal anything that might jeopardize your chances of doing the job, such as not being very punctual. Instead, fess up to your genuine weaknesses and talk through ways you’re rectifying them. This will put you ahead of your competition as you are answering appropriately.
It’s safe to say that self-awareness can take you a long way in an interview and help you beat your competition. Just stay in tune with yourself and let your self-awareness guide you into the first steps of your new job, too.About the author: Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.