There’s nothing tougher than trying to appear calm and nonchalant when sitting face-to-face with an interviewer who holds the supreme power of granting you a job. Deep down, you feel plagued with anxiety. You want that job…any job…at any cost! The bills are mounting and the little nagging voice inside your head keeps reminding you that time is running out. You walk into the interview, dressed to the nines, ready to impress. You’ve promised yourself that you’ll choose your words with care and speak with a carefully practiced air of detachment. But as soon as you’re asked the first question, it hits you: YOU WANT THIS JOB AT ANY COST!!! And every noble resolution to appear calm and collected flies out the window.

Most interviewers and recruiters can spot a desperate job candidate from a mile away. They will sense it within the first few minutes of the interview. So, here are a few tips to make sure you don’t come across desperate for the job (even if that’s exactly how you feel).

1) Banish phrases that make you sound too eager

I remember one interview where the candidate smiled and nodded relentlessly (even as I was asking a rather solemn question) and said with gusto: ‘I’m prepared to do anything.’ Another example of a desperate sounding phrase is ‘I really want this job.’ Phrases like these are a dead giveaway that the interviewee doesn’t particularly care which job is offered and that the advertised job isn’t really a top priority. This can create an unfavourable impression. Instead try and focus on specific aspects of the role where you see yourself being a perfect fit.

2) Get to the point

There’s nothing worse than a job candidate who waffles on and on and goes off track. When you allow despair and anxiety to creep into your mind, it’s easy to ramble and lose the thread of the conversation. Stick to the question asked and avoid the temptation to give long-drawn out excuses and explanations. I’ve often heard job seekers circumvent the actual question and talk about completely unrelated things. They soon go off the rail and have no way of backtracking and re-connecting the dots. If you feel yourself going off on a tangent, use the STAR technique (particularly useful in behavioural-style interviews):

Situation: Specifically describe a situation that relates to the question asked.

Task: Elaborate on the role you played in this context.

Action: Describe the action steps you took to resolve the problem.

Result: What was the specific outcome attained as a result of your contribution.

3) Ask questions

At the end of the interview, the recruiter will most likely ask: ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ If you’re desperate for the job, you may not be interested in asking any questions as you’re pretty sure you’d accept the role no matter what. However, I suggest you take some time before the interview to prepare a couple of carefully crafted questions. One option might be to refer to an article you read about the company in an industry publication and express interest in learning more. This shows that you’ve gone to the trouble of researching your potential employer.

Job interviews can be extremely daunting at the best of times…But by keeping the above mentioned strategies in mind, you can make the path a lot smoother.

Copyright Nim Gholkar 2018 All Rights Reserved