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  • Writer's pictureLindi Engelbrecht

5 Steps & the 9 P's to develop and increase your influence during an interview

An interview is a crucial opportunity to showcase your skills, experience, and personality to a potential employer. However, it can also be an opportunity to develop and increase your influence in the eyes of the interviewer.

Let's explore some real-life examples of how you can achieve this during an interview.

  1. Research the company and the role - Before attending the interview, make sure you have researched the company and the role you are applying for. This will enable you to have a better understanding of the organization's culture, values, and expectations, and you can use this information to tailor your responses to their needs. For example, you can explain how your previous experience aligns with the company's vision and mission statement.

  2. Highlight your unique skills - During the interview, it's important to highlight your unique skills that set you apart from other candidates. This can include skills such as leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication. For example, if you are interviewing for a leadership position, you can discuss your experience leading teams and how you have successfully motivated your team to achieve their goals.

  3. Provide specific examples - When answering questions during the interview, provide specific examples from your previous experience to back up your answers. This will make your responses more tangible and memorable for the interviewer. For example, if you are asked about a time when you faced a challenging situation, you can explain how you overcame it and the specific steps you took to resolve the issue.

  4. Ask thoughtful questions - Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer will often ask if you have any questions. Use this opportunity to ask thoughtful questions about the company, the role, and the expectations. This will demonstrate your interest in the position and your desire to understand the company better. For example, you can ask about the company's plans for growth or the potential for career advancement within the organization.

  5. Follow up after the interview - After the interview, it's a good idea to follow up with the interviewer to thank them for their time and reiterate your interest in the role. This can be done through email or your recruitment consultant. This will help to keep you top of mind for the interviewer and demonstrate your professionalism and enthusiasm for the role.

To illustrate how these techniques can be applied in real-life, consider the following example. Sarah is interviewing for a marketing manager position at a software company. During the interview, she highlights her unique skills in data analysis and her experience in developing successful marketing campaigns. She provides specific examples of how she has used data analysis to improve customer engagement and increase sales in her previous roles.

9 P’s for winning at job interviews

As with most things in life, it starts with Planning and Preparation. Your research is absolutely key nowadays

Punctual – get off to the right start as no prizes for turning up late!

Personal Presentation – dress for success, stand tall and sit upright to show signs of confidence

Personalitylet it shine through by being yourself and personable rather than robotic

Positive – in your attitude and only focus on answers that will show you in a good light!

Patientactively listen before you rush in with your answers

PunchyAim to intrigue not inform! Structure your answers in a clear and precise way. Rambling on won’t get you the job!

‘People say’tactically using 3rd party endorsement is very powerful, especially if you relate this to specific examples from your boss or colleagues

Practice, practice, practice! Answering difficult job interview questions and using great examples to showcase your competence

First impression do matter, but impressions evolve. We put so much pressure on ourselves to make a good first impression, but it is too much. We’ve all met people we initially don’t like and then warm up to. An interview is an hour or so, and the interviewer’s impression of you will develop.

You need to get people to trust you to get the job. So much attention is paid to externalities–the knee-jerk reality of how someone looks or dresses or speaks. Someone can be polished and highly articulate, but that doesn’t mean you trust them. Building that trust is more important.

Trust usually develops over time, so how can you create it during an interview?

What you want is to make a connection with another person. That connection is enough to establish trust in a short time. There are four main ways to build trust during an interview:

  • Smile, early and often

  • Use the person’s name

  • Listen very carefully

  • Make meaningful connections

If you really listen to the other person, and listen to find hints of what the person is interested in and excited about, you will quickly discover how to connect in an authentic way.

Some experts define influence as a form of social capital. It means that the more people you know and the stronger your relationships with them, the more influential you’ll be.

As you strive to build influence in your interview and even in your work environment, you must work at it as a long-term process requiring much effort and strategy. You can increase your influence and advance your career by building a solid network, speaking up and sharing your ideas, being a problem solver, developing your communication skills, and building your brand. You should also remember to be patient, consistent, and authentic, and you’ll see the results over time.

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