Communications Skills for Job Hunting and New Business Success
Whether you’re an employee looking to further your career, an entrepreneur or a business executive targeting new clients, there is nothing like a job interview or a new business pitch to put your communications skills to the test. How you come across to a potential employer or client can be as important– if not more important– as your business skills themselves.
Employers and clients not only look for your skill set; they want to know your personality. And, sometimes it just comes down to the chemistry between you and the interviewer(s).
It’s understandable if you have the jitters when it comes time for the job interview or business presentation. After all, it’s important to your career and to your business growth. Here are some tips to help you prepare for that big job interview or business pitch.
- Expect to be nervous. It’s only natural when there is something at stake. So, expect some amount of nervousness. Go with the flow, and accept that your nervousness may be excitement and anticipation, rather than fear and dread. And remember that the interviewer has as much at stake as you do, in hiring the right person for the right job.
- Carry yourself confidently. How you carry yourself is as important as the clothes you wear for that interview or presentation. Look in the mirror and view yourself both standing up and sitting down. Remember that first impressions count, so the way you enter a room for that first introduction or handshake is important. When sitting down, remember to sit up straight, but not stiff. Practice your stance beforehand. Notice your interviewer’s body language, and take a cue from that. If they are sitting erect, do so. If they tend to lean forward, you may want to slightly do so as well.
- Be prepared. Anticipate questions your potential employer or client might ask. Rehearse your answers in advance. According to Career Coach, Vivian Van Lier, “be clear about your unique value or personal brand to a prospective employer or client. Know what differentiates you from your competition.”
- Rehearse your answers. Be sure you are comfortable with your responses in advance of the interview. There is no substitute for advance practice.