According to a study from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), people evaluate each other using the three “Vs” concept:
- Visual (appearance in general)
- Vocal (voice, intonation and tone)
- Verbal (words and vocabulary)
About 93% of the effectiveness of a person’s communication depends on nonverbal communication.
Another study, conducted by a professor of psychology at the University of Toledo, concluded that the first 30 seconds create or break the bond between two people when they meet for the first time. So when you are being interviewed, remember that the interviewer could get an idea about you even before the interview started.
To adjust your behavior and thus draw positive attention to you in interviews, here are the definitions of each of these “Vs”.
- Appearance counts. When you look good, you feel good. Make sure you have a clean and professional appearance. If you were a book, would anyone want to read more?
- The clothes and accessories you choose to wear should respect the clothing standards of the industry that you are interested in however, don’t be afraid to wear something that expresses who you are as well!
- Nonverbal communication sometimes conveys a stronger message than verbal communication. When you slouch in a chair with your shoulders down, you say a lot about yourself and your level of confidence. Sit with your back straight, just as your mother always told you! When you get up, try to look as big as possible: shoulders back and head up. Be proud of you!
- Eye contact and smiles are indicators of a confident and optimistic attitude. This is a good way to demonstrate your social and interpersonal skills as well as your interest in the job for which you are interviewed. You will notice that several job postings require enthusiastic and energetic candidates. Eye contact and smiles help you demonstrate that you have these qualities.
- The handshake communicates a very strong message. If your hands are hot, cold or sweaty, you can use these helpful tips to control their temperature. To cool your hands, try pouring cold water on the inside of your wrists. Use hot water if your hands are cold. If you have particularly sweaty hands, try using an antiperspirant gel on them.
- Your voice and intensity have an impact. Whether the interview is on the phone or face to face, you should speak with enthusiasm and energy. Use a firm voice to demonstrate your confidence. It’s possible to guess your mental state according to the tone of your voice. So, vary your intonations, without exaggerating too much. You can control how the other person perceives you according to your voice.
- Your vocabulary reveals your communication skills and your skills for interacting with people, especially those you have never met. The words you choose reveal a lot about you and your knowledge of the task at hand. Use the terminology that professionals in the industry use to demonstrate that you are familiar with them. Refer to the job description in the job posting to help you use the same vocabulary as the employer and your future colleagues.
We suggest that you to use a self-assessment grid as a reference for your interviews. Take note, for each statement, the behavior you had during a meeting with an employer and try to improve for your upcoming interviews. That way, you will remember the elements that will make the difference from one time to another. Here are some examples:
- I arrived in advance
- I showed enthusiasm
- I addressed myself politely to all the people I met
- When I met the interviewer, I gave him a good handshake
- I waited for the interviewer to invite me to sit down
- I let the interviewer start the interview
- I looked at people in the eyes
- I listened to the questions carefully and, if necessary, had them repeated or I asked for clarification
- I spoke in a clear and precise language
- I took the time to think carefully about my answers before responding
- I stayed calm, I controlled my nervousness, and I showed confidence
- I answered questions in a positive way, emphasizing on my strengths and skills
- I responded with honestly and to the best of my knowledge
- I avoided criticizing my former employers
- I avoided talking about my personal life
- At the end of the interview, I asked relevant questions
- I avoided lengthening the interview unnecessarily
- When I left the interview, I thanked the interviewer and gave him a good handshake
Now you understand the importance of focusing on the 3 "Vs" (visual, vocal and verbal). Analyze the job offers you’re interested in and you will be able to adapt yourself to it during interviews.
By adopting the tips above, you will be an interesting candidate who knows how to stand out!
Lucie Gamache, c.o.