Avoid this dumb advice to ace your next interview

There is bad advice out there about how to get a job. Avoid them and you just might ace your next interview

1. Non-verbal communication

A great deal of nonsense has been written about this, including the absurd claim that 90% of communication is non-verbal. This would beg the question of why humans bothered to develop language; however, it has been denied by the man whose research originally gave rise to this claim. There is nothing like an HR department for institutionalising bits of pseudo-science such as this.

This is not to say that your interviewers will not be studying everything about you, from your suit to your haircut to your facial and other gestures. The reason for this could be that they are bored, waiting to ask the next question.

HR professionals now report that interviewees are so terrified of giving away something they do not mean to through their body language that they sit petrified in the hands-clasped position throughout the interview. All the advice you will read online comes down to this: dress smartly and do not fidget.

2. Mirroring the interviewer

If there is one thing that recruiters find uber-irritating, it is the candidate who has read that mirroring the interviewer’s body language and diction will build rapport; instead, you will be seen as a manipulative nitwit who believes everything they read online.

The job is not going to involve a whole lot of mirroring. By and large, you are better off trying to think of an intelligent and thoughtful answer to the question they just asked, which you may have missed because you were too busy thinking about copying copy their tone of voice.

3. At all costs, avoid rising intonation

This is where you frame every sentence as if it is a question? When it is not? This immediately knocks 50 points off your perceived IQ.

4. Inappropriate smiling is creepy

Of all the dumb advice out there, the idea that you should smile a lot during the interview to leave a positive impression is probably the dumbest. Recruiters will probably wonder why you have not had your teeth bleached or whether it is a nervous habit you have developed, like dogs yawning.

The rule of thumb is that if interview advice sounds ridiculous, it probably is. Trust your common sense and do your research. If the company wants you, it will hire you; if it does not, all the mirroring in the world is not going to change the interviewer’s mind.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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