Sure, a job interview is about your resume, but it’s also about your personality. You’ll be working with these people, so they should like you. If you’ve gotten an interview, then the company already feels like your experience and skills are a good fit for the position. The interviewer is evaluating your personality, how likable you are, and how you’ll fit with the team. In short, they’re looking for charisma. And if it’s a customer-facing position, charisma is even more important. So how do you project charisma in a job interview?
The first thing to know is that charisma is 90% confidence. People are drawn to confident people, of course, and an interviewer is no exception. What exactly is confidence, though? The main components of confidence are calm in the face of stress and a lack of self-doubt or trust in your abilities. Now, don’t freak out if you think you don’t naturally have these. You can fake them until you make them.
The easiest part of confidence to create is calm, and the first step toward that is preparation. Before the interview even starts, make sure you have some notes prepared on things like your strengths and weaknesses, stories that demonstrate your qualifications, and other interview topics. If you still come up blank when asked a question, a good trick is to repeat the question slowly to buy yourself time to think. Being calm will also help you feel better, of course, so relax.
Trust in your abilities may sound tough, but you can project this easily by avoiding qualifiers like “maybe,” “kind of/sort of,” “some,” etc. These words make you sound uncertain. Owning your shortcomings and mistakes also shows self-confidence, so don’t be afraid to say when you did something wrong. Just follow that up with what you learned. Humility also shows confidence, so don’t be afraid to acknowledge how others contributed to your success.
Lastly, one of the main things that makes people like you is being open and interested in what they have to say. Think about it. Somebody who acts like they already know it all and doesn’t need others doesn’t sound very fun to be around, right? So really listen to your interviewer and ask questions of them. It may sound backward, but remember, interesting people are interested! If you act calm, secure, and curious, you’ll project the kind of charisma that will land you the job.
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