It’s competitive in the job market these days. Everyone wants your dream job and you usually have only one chance to land it. And even if prospective employers like your CV and want to meet you, the massive hurdle of the job interview is one at which a lot of people falter. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We got in touch with Danish Sheikh, a charisma coach and the founder of Charismatrix Ltd, a leadership consultancy company headquartered in London, to get some inside tips about using charisma to your advantage during the interview process. So, what exactly is charisma? Charisma originally comes from the Greek word ‘Khárisma’, which means ‘a divinely conferred talent’. Sheikh defines charisma as, “an ability to trigger strong positive emotions in people, which in turn enable you to better connect, inspire and lead.”
In the modern business environment, it’s not enough that you’re good at just your job. Your ability to engage with, and work alongside, other people is what sets you apart from everyone else. Luckily, it’s Sheikh’s belief that anyone can be charismatic – and if you use some of his tips during your next job interview, you too could be living proof of his claim.
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Be an Active Listener
“Always give the person you’re speaking to your complete attention; focus on what’s being said without trying to plan what you going to say next,” says Sheikh. This is easily achieved by maintaining eye contact and nodding appropriately during the interview and it also helps build rapport and convey confidence. Not to mention the fact that a person’s ability to make eye contact regularly during conversation is believed to be more trustworthy than someone who doesn’t.
Pay Attention to How You Speak
How you speak conveys a lot about yourself. If you’re at an interview, you want to sound enthusiastic about the job you’re applying for. “If you can put some energy in your voice, this will engage the people you’re conversing with. This is something that naturally happens when you talk about something you are passionate about,” says Sheikh.
In addition to this, there’s also the matter of vocal pitch. A lower vocal pitch is perceived as more dominant and attractive, while trailing off to a higher pitch at the end of your sentences indicates indecisiveness and neediness. Sheikh has further advice on the matter: “Also, avoid the use of filler words and phrases like ‘Erm’, ‘Ah’, and ‘You know’, as they’re tell-tale signs of nervousness.”
Watch Your Posture
“Adopting a power posture doesn’t just change the way you’re perceived by others; it also changes your body chemistry and actually affects the way you interact with people,” says Sheikh. It’s true. A power posture is scientifically proven to increase testosterone (dominance hormone) and decrease cortisol (stress hormone). So, keep your chin up and, while you’re at it, you could also try to…
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Smile More Often
Across cultures, the one sign of friendliness that can never be misconstrued is smiling. The key is to perfect a genuine smile. But, be warned, “A fake smile can actually send the wrong signal and make people tense up around you,” says Sheikh.
It’s not enough to just dress well anymore. We’ve all heard the phrase clothes maketh the man and, whether you like it or not, people will judge you based on your appearance. Your attire therefore plays an important role in the impression you make. Sheikh’s advice is to “dress relevant to the occasion and pick a wardrobe that reflects not just your personality, but also the persona you’re trying to project.”
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