CareerAde.com | Refresh Your Career

Dec/09

21

Why presence matters

applyI spend some of my time at my day job interviewing candidates. After a typical interview, I write up my notes on the candidate.  I look for many things such as analytical ability, whether they seem like the genuine article or if they are all smoke and mirrors, whether they have proven drive and commitment in the past and their communication skills.

Looking through my notes, one of my most typical issues I get excited about in a candidate is when they have great energy.

What is personal “energy”?

Energy in this sense is the ability of a person to convey that they are keen to move to action, to get things going. Someone with high energy conveys that with the use of body language, speaking skills and messaging. They are attentive, contribute to the discussion, are friendly and outgoing. They are not slow, boring, lethargic, quiet, afraid, nervous etc.

Why is energy attractive in a candidate?

High energy candidates typically convey a sense of vitality and confidence. They are self confident movers and shakers. In careers that involve a lot of personal interaction, they will typically be more effective and likable in working with their peers or clients than people with low energy. They are more likely to excel at leadership and team work.

Low energy candidates are often rejected in the interview process as they likely will struggle in such interpersonal situations.

What can I do make sure I project high energy?

Be aware of your body language – sit upright, don’t slouch, don’t cross your arms, look your interviewer in they eye – especially when you are being asked tough questions; make good but not excessive use of your hands and arms when talking.

Talk loud and clear – increase your speaking volume until you are being heard loud and clear; don’t mumble or be so soft spoken that people have to ask you to repeat yourself; make sure you annunciate carefully; if you tend to talk fast, slow down a bit, if you talk slowly, kick it up a notch

Smile, laugh and enjoy yourself – nothing conveys high, positive energy than honest cheerfulness; try to be chipper without overdoing it; keep smiling – show your teeth; all of this is much easier if you are actually having fun, so try to enjoy it, go with the flow, cherish the challenge

Get going – get enough rest the night before, drink a coffee, exercise in the morning, listen to music, do whatever it takes to get yourself going

How can I tell if it is working?

People often mirror what they see across the table – if your interviewer seems lethargic and about to fall asleep, you likely are not projecting enough energy – amp it up! If your interviewer pushes away from you and seems a bit worried, you might be overdoing it. Practice having higher energy on your spouse, friends and family. See if it works for them. If they think you seem weird, you are overdoing it – learn how to dial it in just right and then use it in your interview.

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