Projecting Positivity During an Interview

Words matter – but they’re not all that matters. What you say, the way you say it, the way you look when you say it, what you’re wearing when you say it – they all matter. Even if you’re a perfect fit on paper, projecting positivity during an interview will be the key to making it to the next stage.

Here we explore several ways to maintain a positive mindset during an interview so that you improve your chances of landing your next opportunity:

Be intentional with your body language.
Posture, eye contact, facial expressions, etc. all have a positive impact. Before you walk in, clear your head, set your shoulders and stand tall. Don’t overthink this one OR try too hard. Everyone has their bad day or bad moods, but you need to show a positive and friendly attitude for this short time, so stop frowning and smile. And don’t worry, you don’t have to smile through the whole interview – that would be weird.

Cultivate self-confidence.

This starts with your interview prep. Make a list of the top 20 achievements from your career and develop a compelling story around each using the STAR methodology (Situation – Task – Action – Result). This process will make your answers more credible and will provide the narrative behind your accomplishments. Internalize these stories and carry them into the room with you. The more confident you are, the more positive you’ll feel.

Look the part.
Wear something you love and something that screams self-assurance. The right clothes can change the way you walk, the way you sit and definitely the way you feel. Knowing you look your best will impact how you feel.

Actively listen and engage.
In order to speak well, you must first listen well. A great interview is a conversation with a rhythm and a back and forth. Listen intently and be ready to follow where your interviewer takes you. You’ll be asked probing questions that require you to reflect on the past, focus on the present and envision the future. Have a few killer stories up your sleeve that emphasize your key skills, be articulate and use ERH (Example – Result – in Hindsight) technique for answering.

Be honest, but highlight the silver linings.

You’ll be thrown a few tough questions along the way, but positivity and candor can still be your guide. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, demonstrating what you’re capable of and where you have room to grow. Instead of dwelling on where things went wrong in the past, use the opportunity to talk about your work ethic, your love of learning and your adaptability. Show them you appreciate your career path and are enthusiastic about your future.

Not the perfect fit, so what?

Even if you feel that you’re not ideal for the position, you do not want to go in with those negative thoughts.  Think about your own business plan and how your career objectives fit the future growth and needs of this business. Be positive and reflect a “Can-Do” attitude.  Oftentimes, employers are looking for someone who can grow into the position so admit you may have a lack experience, BUT emphasize your desire, enthusiasm, and ability to learn something new.

End as you mean to go on.

No matter how you feel it went, as you leave shake the interviewer’s hand confidently, thanking them for their time.  That final impression can often be the one they remember, and this could be your last opportunity to display your positive outlook and your interest in the role.

Remember, employers are looking for a cultural fit as much as they are looking for a talent fit. Let your personality shine through! Humor, candor, confidence, curiosity, positivity – they’re all part of the equation. Adopting a positive frame of mind will lead you to perform your very best during your interview. It will also help you feel more confident and present, so you can authentically and effectively sell yourself and your skills.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have an advocate in your corner like The CFO Suite.  As part of our process and through our “inside track”, we present your positivities to the client before and after each of your interviews.  Positioning you for success!