How to let your personality shine through an interview

Putting your best foot forward is a great way to make a good impression. While it is true that personality is really who you are, and is therefore only changes slowly with time, it is still possible to take steps to highlight your strengths and show the best parts of yourself during a hiring interview.
During a job interview, employers are not only looking for candidates with proper education and skills, but also with a personality that fits their culture.

Here are 5 simple tips you can adopt to help you highlight your naturally positive personality that will allow you to stand out in the crowd of potential hires.
1. Facial expression
There is nothing more pleasant than seeing someone’s friendly smile. A smile is a universal expression which indicates happiness and positivity; it simply drives away negative feelings and a gloomy atmosphere. Overdoing a big smile can come across as insincere, however, so it is important that your smile is genuine. Two ways to support this are to go into your interview relaxed and with a sense of gratitude. Take a few moments for some deep, relaxed breathing, and to take a moment to think about and focus on a few things that you are grateful for in the moments leading up to your interview.
2. Eye-contact
Eye contact is important during conversation. Some people find it easier than others, but your ability to look people in the eye can be improved with practice. Eye contact shows other people that you are interested, confident, and engaged. In general, eye contact should be friendly. But, don’t stare at the other person too long. Once again, if you struggle with this, practice is key.
3. Tone and rhythm of speech
Human conversational tones can be divided into 3 levels: high, medium, and low.
A high-pitched tone is generally used to express a feeling of joy, excitement, and happiness. It is also how many people tend to speak when they feel under stress, which is generally not suitable for job interviews.
A mid-range tone gives a comfortable, warm feeling. It is the way that you would most likely use your voice when talking causally with a friend.
Lower tones can give feelings of discretion, prudence, and trustworthiness.
Don’t mistake tones with the sound of your natural voice. Everyone’s voice is different, but try to focus on engaging with your interviewer in more relaxed, lower tones in your own register. Feeling relaxed and at ease in the interview will assist greatly with this as well.
Speech rhythm or cadence
In normal conversation, there is little need to think about the rhythm or cadence of your speech because it will normally come out in a way that is natural for you. If you are telling a fun story, you might speed up the pace to make it exciting for the audience. Or, if you’re teaching, or sharing something academic, you might use a slower pace. The slower pace ensures that you’re conscious of your speech and helps your audience understand you better. The stress of an interview can cause your natural rate of speaking to speed up unnaturally, so be aware of this tendency and try to slow down the speed of what you are saying to a more relaxed pace.
4. Managing your body language
Body language says a lot about you before you ever open your mouth. When you enter into and sit in a meeting room, be sure to act confident. Your credentials or job application have been impressive enough to get you in the door, so don’t feel like you shouldn’t be there. Sit up straight without rocking your chair backward and forward. Place your hands on the table, showing sincerity by leaving your palms open or commitment by interlocking fingers. Try to gesture naturally and be aware of when you might be using excessive hand gestures while talking.
5. Dress and hairstyle
What should you wear to an interview? How important is it? The answer to these questions will largely depend on the job, environment and type of company you are interested in working for. You should research what type of company you are interviewing for and adjust your presentation accordingly. For example, a bank is going to typically have a more formal dress code while an early stage tech startup is usually much more casual. If you don’t know the dress code play it safe and go for something neutral such as white, brown, navy blue, or black, and style your hair tidily and conservatively.
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