Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Job Interview Tips: Confidence Is Key

Happy New Year everyone!  Now that the holidays are over, the job search should start to heat up again.  With any luck you will start to hear back from nonprofit jobs for which you applied.  If that's the case, you are going to need some new job interview tips to seal the deal.  Today's tip can be summed up with one word: Confidence.

You can have the most impressive resume in the world, but you won't be successful if you don't appear to  have confidence in yourself.  An organization is not going to want to hire someone that appears unsure.  It's easy to feel discouraged in this job market, but don't let that affect your interviews. 

Showing confidence starts with good communication skills.  Here are four tips that will help you ace that job interview:
  • Slow It Down: Avoid speaking quickly during your interview.  Not only will this make it difficult to understand you, it will also make the interviewer think you are anxious.  You probably will be a little nervous, but it's not a good idea to let that be so apparent.  A good way to slow yourself down is to make use of pauses.  Using strategic pausing will give the interviewer time to process what you are saying, and it will show that you are in control of your words.
  • Speak With Confidence: What does it mean to speak with confidence?  It can mean a number of things, but one of its important aspects is a strong tone of voice.  People who speak with a strong voice are often perceived to have great self-confidence, whether that's right or wrong.  You don't want to overdo it, but practice powering up your voice.  It can do wonders for you.
  • Avoid "Fillers": Are a lot of your sentences ending with "ums" or "uhs"?  Words like these are known as "fillers," and using too many of them creates the impression that you are unsure of yourself.  It's very hard to completely get rid of them, but make sure you at least keep fillers to a minimum.  If you can complete a conversation with only a few fillers, you will have done a great job.
  • Posture: Body language play a big role in your communication of confidence.  If you show up to your interview with your arms crossed, for example, you will be sending exactly the wrong message.  Make sure you are making good eye contact with your interviewer, give a firm handshake, and have a smile on your face.  Remember, nearly 50 percent of our communications are non-verbal.

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