5 Rules For A Successful Job Interview

 
 

ALJOŠA KOUS

Behaviorist and
Body Language Expert


Did you ever ask yourself why somebody would choose you over the next candidate? Is it your CV, your personality or your communication and presentation skills? Let’s find out.
 

So you pimped out your CV and Cover letter. You sent it to 100 different places and 100 different companies. Then one day you wake up, brush your teeth, look at yourself in the mirror with a speck of toothpaste in the corner of your mouth, you smile and say you are the most confident person in the world and that it’s going to be a perfect day.

Your phone rings. The number is unknown, but you answer it anyway. The pretty voice on the other side tells you that you’re one of the job candidates. Nowadays we think we can have it all because we’re a perfect 10 and everybody wants us to work for them. But the thing is that one phone call is just a beginning. Here are the 5 rules you need to know to have a successful job interview. And they sure are game changers.  

 

1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK

There were plenty of times when I sat for a cup of coffee with particular people who desperately wanted a job. And they applied to everything they could find. And the first question I asked them was who is the CEO of the company and who is the head of that particular department they wanted to work in.

They all paused and looked at me with surprise: why are you asking me this? Why does it matter who the CEO is? IT DOES. Big time. Maybe he loves golf, maybe he loves country music or sports cars.

 We all hate homework but it is a necessity.  

We all hate homework but it is a necessity.  

You can easily start small talk which always gives you headaches. Find out what their products are, how marketing works, if they have stock and how many times did it drop, etc. It’s all about research. The more info you have the more power there is in your way of communicating.  

 

2. FIND YOURSELF

The main problem is that we do not know who we are and what we want. Example: if you are an introvert then you shouldn't work in communication or sales - nobody’s saying you can't, but there’s a big possibility you won't fit in.

If you write down in your CV that you have the best communication skills ever - show them. Because they will expect them. If you love something, show it. If they ask what your flaws are, tell them.

Nobody’s perfect. Neither are you. But all the HR guys love honesty. Don't overthink. Just be yourself. It'll turn out better in the long run. Believe me.

 The most important thing is that you know who you are and what you want.

The most important thing is that you know who you are and what you want.

Make a test. Grab a paper and a pencil. Write 7 of your positive and 7 of your negative characteristics as well as 7 priorities in your life in 7 minutes. Find yourself. Then go to sleep.

Next day find three of the most positive and negative sides of your personality. And think about negative ones. So if they ask you what are you going to do about it, you’ll know the answer immediately. It works, believe me. You’ll find self-confidence and then the world can’t stop you.

 

3. SMILE

We all know how hard it is to smile without confidence, especially if you find yourself searching for a job for a couple of months. Putting on a smile shows people that you are a warm, honest and good person.

 A smile is a universal key that opens all of the doors in the world.

A smile is a universal key that opens all of the doors in the world.

Smiling also produces serotonin and dopamine, two of the most beneficial hormones in our system and it automatically makes us feel more confident. It’s a signaling system that evolved from a need to communicate information in many different forms. So remember to put a smile on your face before you enter the door and you’ll have 80% more chance to ace the job interview.  

 

4. HANDSHAKE

A handshake is a short ritual where two people grasp each other's hand, in most cases accompanied by a brief up and down movement of the grasped hands.

Using the right hand is generally considered proper etiquette. Customs surrounding handshakes are specific to cultures. Different cultures may be more or less likely to shake hands, or there may be different customs about how or when to shake hands.

So people asked me “What is the right way?” Let me show you an example.

 This is an example of a proper firm handshake.

This is an example of a proper firm handshake.


DO:

  • smile
  • hold eye contact
  • state your name
  • repeat your correspondent’s name and say: “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”


DON'T:

  • attempt to handshake over the end of a table
  • offer a “dead fish” or shake with sweaty palms
  • look down
  • forget to say: “Goodbye and thank you for your time!”

 

5. WHERE/HOW TO SIT

"Self-esteem isn't everything; it's just that there's nothing without it."
–  Gloria Steinem

So the main thing is where to sit. Most people don’t pay attention to it at all and it’s a huge problem. Especially if you don’t sit up straight.

Sitting up straight gives you confidence and your lungs can get enough fresh air, which boosts the functioning of your brain. Because you’re able to think faster, your body is less strained and you’re able to relax (at least a bit).

Second, before sitting down ask where you can sit. If they put you on a particular seat it’s rude to throw yourself on a couch or on their chair (believe me, it happened before and the guy didn’t get a job - hmmm, I wonder why).

Third, put your arms on the table so that only your forearm is resting on the table. Why? Because otherwise, you can invade your interviewers’ private space. You don’t want to do that.

 An example of how to sit. And you need to smile - not like the guy in the middle.

An example of how to sit. And you need to smile - not like the guy in the middle.


Just be yourself. This is the most important thing. AND DON’T EVER BE LATE. Start 45 minutes before.

 

And just a few small extra tips:

  • An hour before the interview drink a calcium effervescent tablet. Calcium reduces muscle tensions. and adrenaline rush. Or just eat a banana.

  • Right before the interview, take one small piece of dark chocolate. It produces serotonin and dopamine which will boost your confidence.

  • Tell yourself you can do it.

  • Think about the dress code. It’s important to think about the position you’re applying to. Sometimes it’s appropriate to wear a suit, other times a polo t-shirt and trousers may send the right signal.

 

Just be confident and patient.


If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me on aljosa.kous@akousulting.com or call me on Skype.


ALJOŠA KOUS

BEHAVIORIST AND BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT

Aljoša has held more than 300 lecturing hours across the Balkan region. He likes solving any problem with his smile, behavioral knowledge and body language expertise. Contact him if you have a job interview, love problem or business meeting you want to attend and nail. Learn more