“I was asked once how we taught all 1700 employees who worked at one property to smile. We didn’t teach anyone anything. Instead, we hired people who were already smiling.” – Arte Nathan
There is a lot of advice floating around the internet about how to be professional & sell yourself to showcase your skills for a job interview. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, often the deciding factor between a job offer and no job offer is your attitude and your personality – it’s if the person interviewing youwants to work with you. Sometimes it can be something as small as a warm smile that will put you ahead of competition! As much as people will throw around the term “sell” yourself, you need to keep in mind that you’re not a product. You’re a person. Someone who your potential employer will be spending eight hours a day with, five days a week for the foreseeable future. Like anybody, they would much prefer to spend that time with someone they like.
Don’t get us wrong, skills are great – your qualifications are what got you called into an interview in the first place, and they’re important. But you’re there because they know you’re qualified – now they want to figure out what kind of person you are, and how you would fit into the position. Remember, everyone they’re interviewing is qualified. There are twenty people with resumes just as good – or better – than yours in the running. So stand out – this is about you as an individual now, not your skills. Be friendly and authentic, and show them why you in particular deserve the job more than anybody else they’re interviewing.
What do you offer no one else does?
Do your best not to freeze up from the nerves of trying to remember all that advice you’ve heard about handshakes and eye contact and tiny details. Forget all that. Just be confidant, relaxed and natural. Eye contact, smiling, posture and all sorts of other positive body language cues will fall into place naturally if you’re genuinely comfortable and confidant.
So take a deep breath, relax, and remember that your interviewer is a person just like you, and you don’t need to feel intimidated. Treat them like a person – ask them briefly about themselves, maybe joke with them (if the situation is appropriate, you don’t want to appear as if you don’t care – just that you’re confidant, and comfortable enough to show your sense of humor.) Be friendly, smile, show that that you’re both qualified for the position and a generally good person to be around.
If you strike up a good connection with them, they’ll remember you. If you make them laugh, they’ll want to see more of you. When it comes time to consider who gets the position in the end, you can bet you’ll be near the top of that list.