One of the most common concerns I hear from clients is how to get rid of the jitters during an interview. When you are in an interview, nervousness and anxiety can interfere with your ability to listen. This happens because you are so focused on saying the right thing and remembering your rehearsed answers that you zone out on what the other person is saying. You are not really focused on ‘hearing’ the interviewer and you may miss important verbal and non verbal clues which will make all the difference in whether or not you land the job.
By actively listening you become much more in tune with the interviewer, because your sole focus is to hear and understand him or her. By doing this, you show that you value the interviewer’s time and opinion thus enabling you to quickly build trust and rapport. By focusing on the interviewer’s needs you are in a much better position to provide responses that will be right on. When actively listening, you stop focusing on yourself so your nerves will get a much needed rest.
4 tips to improve your active listening skills:
1. Maintain eye contact. This shows your interest and subconsciously helps you focus on what is being said rather than thinking ahead about your response.
2. Check that your posture and non-verbal behavior are saying: I am excited to be here!
3. Watch your interruptions. We often do this without realizing it until it is too late. Try taking a breath before speaking.
4. Periodically summarize what you hear to ensure thorough understanding and discuss any opportunities for clarification.
An interview gives you the opportunity to be a great listener and to demonstrate how you are the best person to fill the company’s needs. And who knows, you might just enjoy the conversation that ensues. Follow us on Twitter andFacebook.