There’s an abundance on advice on the internet now covering techniques and tricks to try at interviews in pursuit of those elusive graduate jobs. But in practise, it may not come down to skills and experience in determining who actually gets that job.
Speak to anyone who’s been trained to interview for graduate jobs and subsequently hired staff, if they’re honest, they’ll admit that some candidates ‘just feel right’ and some don’t! Now of course you can’t just hire someone you personally hit it of with if they don’t have the skills. However, there is an assumption that those reaching interview stages have the right general background according to their CV. So, all other things being equal, id there something else at play.
According to experts, 70% + of language is non verbal. Just to clarify this, there’s an awful lot of something else going on, other than the words coming out of our mouths that determines what we communicate. My proposal to you, is that this 70% is often a large contributor to marginal decisions at interview.
Have you ever held a conversation with somebody also speaking your language, say English, but speaking with a very strong and different dialect? Can you recall an uncomfortable feeling as you almost strain to understand what they’re saying? It’s awful, it’s the same language, but it’s embarrassing if you can’t understand them. You can’t ask them to do anything differently without offending as, to them, they are speaking normally, but boy do you sound strange.
Well this type of variation in communication applies to many other aspects of language and communication. Some people speak very quickly, others slowly, some are animated with lots of intonation in their voice and others quiet and rather flat. When two people interact with different styles of speech like this, the effects are similar to the different dialects above, an apparently inexplicable ’uncomfortable’ feeling. They speak the same language, but something just doesn’t feel right. Imagine when this occurs in an interview. The interviewee may give all the right answers, but the interviewer doesn’t quite feel right, there is no real explanation why, but given alternatives, this candidate will not get the job.
So what can you do about this? Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a subject which looks at the relationship between language and they way we think and behave. A common NLP technique is referred to as matching. It’s something a skilled business person will do naturally, and with some thought, you can do it too. We you first meet your interviewer, try to assess any obvious patterns in the way they communicate, and without making it obvious, try to mirror their style. If they are clearly a ‘high energy’ person who speaks quickly and relatively loudly, try and raise you volume and speed of speech above that of your norm. Similarly, if your interviewer is of a notably calmer demeanour and speaks quietly, you may need to bring your energy levels down a little. If you want to see this technique exaggerated, have a look at a parent speaking to a toddler, they don’t normally speak in a high pitched squeaky voice, but it’s a natural adjustment that makes it easier and more comfortable for the toddler to understand, as the style is more like their own than a normal adult voice!
These are hidden skills that are highly effective and you can practise in everyday life with everyone you meet. Successfully match someone’s style and you will find you have a more engaging and enjoyable encounter than you may have had feeling uncomfortable dealing with someone else’s style. It may been the difference to gaining that perfect job.
toResign.com has thousands of career documents including Resignation Letters, CV Examples, Cover Letters, Job Application Forms and more…