One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a job interview is to be so dull that your interviewer doesn’t remember you the next day, or worst, they start becoming uninterested during the actual interview. There are lots of candidates out there competing for your job, so turn on the charm and be interesting.
“Keep an eye out for your interviewer glancing at their computer or phone,” Gayle Laakmann McDowell’s writes in her book The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company
. “If you’re on a phone interview, look for unusual silences. This is a sign that they’re losing focus.”
At this point, you want to get your interviewer’s attention back without calling them out on it.
Here are four tips you can try when it’s obvious that your interviewer is completely not interested in you:
1. Vary your speech. McDowell says to try and vary the volume or tone of your speech to take back the waning attention.
“Speaking a bit louder or a bit quieter may be the kick needed to grab your interviewer’s attention. Or, if you can show some additional passion or enthusiasm in your voice, your interviewer might absorb some of this emotion.”
Also, candidates should try hand gestures to illustrate their main points, but don’t be too dramatic with this technique. If you’re subtle about it, it’ll appear much more natural.
2. Tell a story. “Minor changes in word choice can flip your response from a bland description of what happened to a memorable story,” so add action to your story to grab the listener’s attention.
But don’t ramble on so much that the interviewer starts zoning out, because you’re bombarding them with so many details.
3. Talk less. “Rather than giving all the aspects of a story, consider limiting yourself to just the important facts — that is, the things that are essential to understand what you did and why it mattered.”
4. Structure your responses. “Ever listened to someone speak and ask yourself, ‘Where is this story going?’ Sometimes this is because the person is talking too much, but sometimes it’s just due to a lack of structure.”
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