Being a Career and Outplacement Coach, I’ve helped a lot of people prepare for an interview.  I’ve also interviewed hundreds of people over the years while being an active Human Resources Professional.  And while it’s true that there are better answers for some questions and it’s good to know what those answers are, I often find what makes or breaks someone in an interview has more to do with how they say something or act in an interview, than the actual answer itself.  Here’s my suggestion on how best to ACE a job interview:

“A” stands for ATTITUDE.  And by attitude, I mean your attitude.  You have to go in with the right mindset if you are going to be successful at the interview.  Think as if you ARE going to be offered the job, and that it’s only a matter of time before that happens.  Right now you are simply going through the interviewing process but it’s only a matter of time before an offer is presented to you.  With that kind of thinking, you will appear more confident and sure of yourself and you will be less nervous.

“C” stands for COMMUNICATION.  Yes, of course everyone knows you need to answer questions during an interview and communicate your answers well, but what we also must pay attention to is what we don’t say and how we are communicating non-verbally through our body language and tone.  Did you know that only 7-10 percent of our words are actually heard and the rest is made up of how we say things and what our body is doing while we say them?  Pay attention to how you are answering your questions.  Are you speaking too fast or too slow?  Are you emphasizing your words or speaking in monotone?  Where are you on a scale of 1-10 with your energy level while you speak?  Practice in front of a mirror and see how you are expressing yourself to others.

“E” stands for EMOTIONS.  How did you make the interviewer feel?  Yes, that’s what I said.  How did you make the person who was interviewing you feel?  If you have never really given that much thought, it’s time that you did.  You want that interviewer to feel good in your presence and to feel comfortable during the entire interview.  You want to capture their attention and make the interview an enjoyable and memorable experience for them in a positive way.  If you do this successfully, you will stand out from the rest of the candidates being interviewed regardless of how you answered your questions.

So the next time you prepare for an interview, after you’ve practiced what you are going to say, remember what I’ve mentioned here and watch yourself ACE your interview!!