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Acing the Interview: How to Stand Out From the Crowd

The average American will hold between five and fifteen jobs over the course of her professional life. While these jobs may span several occupations or job descriptions, they will all hold one thing in common: the interview process. This week, Corporate Speech Solutions will begin a blog series helping you to develop the skills necessary to become a successful interviewee. This week we’ll focus on one very important aspect of acing an interview: building rapport.

While interviewers are certainly interested in your qualifications and experience, a less concrete factor that gives one candidate an edge over another is how the interviewer feels during the interview. This may not make its way into the official notes, but if an interviewer feels pleasant and at ease during the interview, he will subconsciously associate these feelings with you. In order to make the interview as pleasant as possible, use the following tips:

Smile! Smiling makes you seem approachable and friendly, characteristics that everyone wants in a coworker or employee. This simple facial expression can make a world of difference in how others feel around you.

Use the Interviewer’s Name. Hearing one’s own name out loud creates a positive feeling and makes the listener subconsciously feel more connected to the speaker. Aim to use the interviewer’s name two to three times over the course of the interview.

Relax. Of course, it is difficult to relax when having a conversation that may determine your professional future! However, if you are obviously nervous and uncomfortable, it will make your interviewer uncomfortable as well. While you certainly don’t want to come across as overly casual, you do want to relax enough to allow your personality to shine through.

Be enthusiastic and positive. Discuss your past and future in a positive tone. Avoid speaking negatively about past jobs, bosses, or colleagues. Potential employers subconsciously envision themselves in the position of your past employers. Therefore, a negative comment about a former boss or company may create an unpleasant reaction.

For more great tips on how to gain an edge over the competition and ace that interview, watch the following video by CSS President Jayne Latz.