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Use a Video Camera to Improve Interview Skills

4 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Preparing for a Job Interview

Improve your effectiveness in job interviews by using a video camera. By holding mock interviews in front of a video camera, you can see how you appear through an employer’s eyes. Ask a friend to feed you practice interview questions. An audio tape recorder is useful but isn’t in the same league as being able to see and hear yourself while you're in interviewing action.

Taping a practice interview session enables you to see how — with image improvement and mannerism modification — you can look alert, competent, and confident. You can refine actions that turn hiring on and eliminate those that turn hiring off.

Rehearse nonverbal as well as spoken messages, and keep an eye out for the following image-detracting actions:

  • Leg swinging

  • Foot tapping

  • Rocking from side to side

  • Fiddling with your hair

  • Waving around nervous hands

  • Leaning back or slouching

  • Crossing your arms

  • Bowing your head frequently

  • Darting your eyes

  • Blinking slowly (comes across as disinterest or slow thinking)

  • Touching your mouth constantly

  • Forgetting to smile

Use the following techniques to put your readiest foot forward:

  • Look interested when you’re seated by leaning slightly forward with the small of your back against the chair.

  • Look the interviewer squarely in the nose, and you appear to be making eye contact. You look open and honest. More earnest honesty is communicated by upturned, open palms.

  • Pause and think before answering a question to seem thoughtful and unflappable.

  • Refer to your notes, and you’re seen as one who covers all the bases. Just don’t make the mistake of holding onto your notes like they’re a life preserver.

  • If you find your voice sounds tight and creaky on tape, try warming up your voice before an interview or your next practice run: Sing in the shower or in your car on the way to the interview.

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