Interview Coaching: Professional Presence

Interview coaching to help you leave a positive lasting impression.

Consistently developing your professional presence will play a crucial role in landing your next role. From the second you walk into an interview, everyone, not just your interviewers, will assess you. It’s important to understand how to best use verbal and nonverbal communication to demonstrate the trustworthiness, competence, confidence, and care that employers want to see in candidates. 

Preparation

  • Research the company. Note the way the organization talks about itself and assess how it positions its values. Learning how the company wants to be viewed will help you use the right language and descriptors in the interview.
  • Arrive early and bring your paperwork, including your resume, cover letter, and references. This will demonstrate your ability to plan ahead and anticipate hurdles.
  • Finally, dress appropriately and maintain good hygiene to convey your ability to care for yourself and, in turn, for other people. Also, wearing something that fits well and makes you feel good will boost your confidence. 

Attitude

Employers want reliable, consistent, and dependable employees. Kindness and respect demonstrate unwavering consistency. Even if respect hasn’t been earned yet, extending it is a great way to reflect your character and values. Maintain a positive attitude. Hiring managers are much more likely to hire someone they like, so it’s important to have an attitude that is pleasant and easy to be around. 

Body Language

Your nonverbal communication significantly impacts the impression you leave on others. A hiring manager will gather information from your nonverbal cues, so it’s important to learn how to use this to your advantage.

  • Take up space. People that exude confidence walk tall and look comfortable in their body, rather than crossing their limbs and appearing small.
  • Sit with an open and receptive posture and occasionally gesture with your palms facing up to convey trust.
  • Smiling is a great way to signal safety and openness.
  • Make eye contact when shaking someone’s hand. This is arguably more important than the actual handshake itself, as eye contact indicates a high level of confidence and poise.

These nonverbal cues will immediately ease the situation and bring a sense of comfort to those around you. 

Verbal Communication

If the interviewer is personable, chatty, or casual, it’s okay to bond with laughter and conversation. However, remember to stick to positive, work-appropriate topics to maintain your professionalism. Be judicious and deliberate with the information you offer so as not to overshare. You want to develop a personal rapport, but you don’t want to overstep. All the while, engage with your interviewer and actively listen — this will show your continued interest in the role and company. In terms of virtual conversation, always maintain professionalism, using proper grammar, spelling, and formalities. Even if your contact uses a casual tone, stick to your professional language and engage with them via appropriate channels of communication. 

Remember, be mindful to demonstrate professionalism throughout your entire job search, not just the interview. 

Scroll to Top