Since my childhood, I was able to understand what the person’s mood is by looking at his facial expression and behavior. I understood when someone was lying and hiding the truth. Later on, this ability gave me an upper hand in many interviews, where I was in charge. Many candidates give themselves away with their body language; they speak different words than what can be read in their eyes.
It is extremely important to understand the environment. As soon as you enter the room the interviewer may signal you to sit down using his or her hand and you may fail to notice. This may be very simple to you, but then the interviewer has to say things out loud and no interviewer likes to repeat things, which is a fact. You have to be a good observer.
The first thing after entering the room should be to analyze the atmosphere, see what the interviewer’s mood is and how his body moves. Once you understand the atmosphere and put the interviewer
at ease, the rest of the interview might proceed smoothly.
My friend’s son was attending an interview recently. He had just finished his degree and was applying for a job in some private firm. He narrated his experience at the interview at a social gathering. He told me that just like most of the interviews, there were only three positions and twenty candidates competing for them. One thing that was extremely surprising was that all the 20 candidates were assessed in just two hours of time. I couldn’t stop my curiosity and asked him what happened when he entered the room.
He replied that as he entered the room there were three middle-aged men seated around a large table. The table was large so a handshake was not possible. They gestured him to sit and asked general questions about his life, like where was the graduation is done and a little bit about his family. There was not a single question related to the firm or the job. He was done in just five minutes and asked to wait until the results were announced. After waiting for another hour, results were announced and his name was included. He was very happy with the fact that he got the job and that too without putting much effort.
I was not at all satisfied and wanted to figure out the reason behind this mysterious interview. Luckily I knew one of the three interviewers from a new year’s party three years ago.
I somehow connected the dots finally leading to him and inquired about this brainstorming reality. He took a pause for a second and revealed that he and his partners were just deciding whom to hire by observing the candidate’s body language. The candidates that did not make eye contact were rejected instantly, while a few more were rejected because they couldn’t hide their stress and anxiousness, which are two main signs of weaknesses. He also explained that the candidates who were selected were very confident and maintained eye contact while speaking as well as while listening.
Their hands were very professional and the body posture was properly maintained. The main aim of the firm was to hire employees, who were confident and hid their weaknesses effectively. The rest of the details are already present in the resume and training was obvious upon hiring, so, they did not care about anything else other than the person’s personality, which they judged on the basis of the body language.
The candidates that did not make eye contact were rejected instantly, while a few more were rejected because they couldn’t hide their stress and anxiousness, which are two main signs of weaknesses.
This incident always rang a bell inside my head and I never miss an opportunity to explain the new trainees to observe and understand the important signs and gestures needed for an interview. It is not hard to figure out someone’s body language, all you need is the knowledge and some application. I am sure that you can easily figure out your dad’s and mom’s mood when you have done something wrong and you didn’t tell them yet or you went somewhere and you did not come back. Those times are tough and you already know what the results are.
Similarly, if you figure out the mood of the interviewers, there is a high possibility that you can figure out the twists and turns during an interview. You can figure out your parent’s mood easily because you know them well and you understand their expressions. However, in this case, you need to apply logic. There are some basic steps that you can follow to get a better understanding of the interviewer’s mood.
- Look at the expression of the interviewer as soon as you enter the room. Most of the interviewers are experienced and show no signs of emotion, but sometimes if you are lucky you might understand the mood just with the facial expression.
- Let the interviewer speak first. Do not speak until asked. Generally, the first question sets the complete atmosphere for the rest of the interview. If the first question asked to you is direct and on the topic like, “why do you think you are fit for this job?” or “Tell us why you are a good candidate for this job”, then the mood is serious and the interviewer is expecting you to react quickly and give quick answers.
- If the first question is casual like, “How are you?” or “We are pleased to see you, tell us something about yourself”, then you can expect a casual interview. However, a casual interview is considered much more challenging than a straight forwarded one as a casual interview generally involves a lot of tricky questions, which require the candidates to put in a lot of logic.
- Observe the tone of the interviewer and try to figure out his or her emotions through that. If the interviewer’s voice is loud and pressing, then you are in for a rough time. But, most of the interviewers try to put you at ease first and then suddenly put you in a difficult situation to see your potential.
Keeping eye contact while speaking signifies that you are confident and saying the truth. Moreover, keeping eye contact while listening makes you a good listener, who is concentrated and focused.
Always remember to make eye contact while speaking and also do not break eye contact while listening. Looking at the walls or out of the window while speaking or listening can land you up in either of the places. Also, keep your back straight and sit formally. Many individuals are confused about where to keep their hands during an interview.
It is considered best to keep them in your lap and formally lock them with each other. While you are speaking, move your hands along with the dialogues. Place your hands still while not speaking and do not touch your nose, mouth, ear or any other parts of the body too much. Maintain the decorum inside the interview room.
According to research, the second most important factor that leads to failure in interviews is a lack of enthusiasm and confidence that the candidate shows in the interview. The primary reason for that is a very low level of voice and lack of voice modulation. Now you may want to know what Voice Modulation is. How does it impact an interview?
Let me share with you some very important information about Voice Modulation that I have been sharing in my Voice Modulation Workshops in Mumbai. Well, voice communicates a lot about our current state of excitement and confidence. Since I have trained over 250,000 professionals, I have observed that 98% of students and working professionals do not modulate their voice. And because of this reason, they are perceived as people who lack confidence.
Now in an interview, your hiring manager is continuously judging your personality and if your voice does not show confidence, the interviewer will be unsure of hiring you. In order to develop a high-quality voice, one must follow the following tips:
- Do loud reading practise for 30 minutes daily –this will help you open up your voice.
- In case people around you complain that you speak very fast, you need to accept that you are speaking more than 150 words per minute. Generally, when you speak 100 words per minute, it is very easy to understand what you are saying. In order to speak at a rate that the interviewer can easily understand what you are saying, practice extremely slow reading. Read the text with a five-second gap between two words. You need to do this for 30 minutes daily. Thousands of professionals have used this technique to drastically reduce their rate of speech.
- Learn to correctly modulate your voice. When you modulate your voice, it makes your speech interesting; it helps you express your emotions and also creates an impression that you are confident. In order to develop modulation in your voice, underline two three words in each sentence. Now read the text loudly and stress on the underlined words. Do this for 30 minutes daily. This will help you develop voice modulation.
- Record your speech on voice recorder on your mobile phone. Then listen to it. Don’t be surprised if you are not very comfortable with your voice. This happens with a lot of people. Now follow the above tips and then record your voice again and listen. Do this until you are satisfied with the quality of your voice.
- Give your voice some rest before the interview. This will help you to speak with energy in the interview.
- Gargle with warm water and salt daily. This will clear your throat.