March 17, 2014

5 things you should do during an interview

I'm so happy that last week's post on 5 things you should do BEFORE an interview was so helpful! I know it's a popular time for college/organization/internship/job interviews, so I'm happy to share some helpful hints for how I approach interview situations.

Once you're in the interview room, there are some important things to remember to ensure your interview goes as well as possible.

5 things you should do during an interview

1. Shake hands (firmly) and make eye contact

When you enter the interview room and have the opportunity to shake hands with the interviewer(s), you should absolutely take it. This helps you make a personal connection with that person before you even start speaking. And they can judge you from your handshake. A weak handshake sends bad vibes and doesn't make the great first impression that a strong handshake can make.

During the interview, make eye contact with the interviewer(s) and let them know you're confident enough about what you're saying to look them in the eye.

2. Speak clearly, at a normal pace, and at a strong volume

This one is so important. I've been the interviewer in several interviews where the person mumbles or talks so quickly that I cannot understand what he or she is saying. Even if your answers are great, if they're not understandable, they are useless. Before the interview, practice responding to questions in a normal conversational volume, at a normal pace, and be sure your words come out clearly.

3. Give personal examples, show them who YOU are

If the interviewers are interviewing multiple people for this position (which they most likely are), there's a large chance that they've heard the same type of responses over and over again. Of course good answers to questions will be similar, but they get old for an interviewer after being repeated over and over. The best way to combat this challenge is to give your good answer and compliment that answer with a personal experience. Your answer should be so personal and uniquely about you that the interviewer(s) will only hear that answer once and they will remember your answer. This is another reason why I look back on my involvements/experiences before an interview - it makes it much easier to recall experiences that relate to my responses.

4. Listen

When you're not speaking, listen. Sounds simple, but it's easy to ignore the interviewer(s) comments or questions if you're planning and thinking in your head. Interviews are formal conversations that require both great listening skills and great responses. It sometimes helps to repeat the question as the first part of your response so you make sure to actually answer the question being asked and prove you are listening.

Example: Interviewer asks - What leadership quality do you possess that would make you an ideal candidate for this position?

Example response: One leadership quality I have that would make me an excellent candidate for this position is…

When you have to ask the interviewer(s) to repeat the question, it throws off the momentum of the interviewer and makes it seem like you cannot follow directions easily. Listen carefully the first time.

5. Smile

 Want to know a secret? 
Smiling is the best thing you can do during an interview or really anytime you're speaking to another person. Smiling helps you to relax, feel better about what you're saying, and it makes the people you're speaking to feel better. Anytime I feel myself about to get nervous or thinking too hard, I smile and it all comes together.

Good luck interviewing! 


  1. this is soooo helpful! I haven't been on a job interview in 6 years, so I know i am rusty. This will help when I finally decide to apply for jobs again.

  2. Hello from Spain: great advices. With a big smile objectives are achieved. Keep in touch

  3. Smiles make the world go round! That's my go-to to getting what I want in an interview. I call it my not-so-secret secret weapon. Great tips Vett!

    The Indie Byline

  4. Smiling is so important, showing that you are a human with a personality!! Awesome tips Vett!

  5. Those are VERY important!!! Awesome advice Vett.

  6. I haven't done one in about two years.

  7. These are all such wonderful tips, especially giving examples and smiling!


  8. Great pointers! The handshake/eye contact thing is sooo important, and not just in interviews!

  9. Good tips! One thing that really helps me is doing as much research about the company, the position, and the interviewers if I know who they are. Knowing things helps keep me calm.


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