You never get a second chance at a first impression. We’ve all heard this statement over and over. It reminds us that appearances are important, to always be on our guard, and to never forget that we are constantly being judged. Aside from a first date, this is never truer than during an interview. Résumés lead to interviews 31% of the time. Applications lead to interviews 25% of the time. And networking and contacts lead to interviews 44% of the time (2010 SHRM survey). Interviews land jobs 100% of the time! From the way you’re dressed to how you shake someone’s hand, it all plays a pivotal role in the interview process. Whether it’s conducted via phone or in person never forget that what you say is just as important as how you answer.
So, what’s the difference? The difference between how and what are very stark. How your answer is expressed through your intonation, your facial expression, and your body language. What you’re answering comes across through the vernacular chosen, the order in which your sentences are formed and what you choose to preface and end your statement with. When answering interview questions, it’s important to keep in mind not only the words but also the tone. Watch how you’re sitting as well as where your body is turned. All of this plays a key role in whether or not you’re getting the job. Communication and messages come through without our control. So why not take extra caution in what we are aware of?