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Tips for job interviews: How to develop power and influence during job interviews

25 January, 2017Nadim Choudhury

We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” before. Is there any truth to this? The answer is yes!  

Many students find the interview process to be extremely daunting and while they may have prepared answers and feel confident in their responses, they may not be successful if they don’t make an impact. Highlighted below are few simple things you can do easily to ensure that you come across well in an interview. 

Display leader like body language

Ensure that you are not portraying negative body language during the interview. Sit up straight, unfold your arms and maintain eye contact when stressing a specific point. Research suggests that candidates who display more agentic behaviour in interviews (assertiveness and confidence) are more likely to be successful. Even if you are not naturally confident you can make yourself feel confident by displaying positive body language.

Pay attention to your voice

The tone of voice you use in an interview is absolutely crucial. When you want to make an impact, ensure that your tone of voice is clear and not flat. It's also important to stress key points – this will help the interviewer perceive you as someone who is confident and in control. A good tip would be to record yourself before the interview and listen back. If you don’t like the way you sound – work on ways to change it! 


Prepare! Make sure you have enough knowledge about the company and the sector – the more you know the more comfortable you will feel in your expertise, leaving room for little doubt. Those who have taken the time to become an expert are more likely to be confident in interviews.

Create rapport with the interviewer 

If the interviewer likes you, they will pay more attention to what you say. This is why it is absolutely crucial to make a good first impression, so make sure you smile and look the interviewer in the eye when you introduce yourself, which will allow you to ingratiate yourself more easily. 

Most people often have a stronger preference to one of the three forms of communications (Visual, Auditory or Kinaesthetic) and they communicate usually in their preferred style, it is common for them to do this unconsciously. Make sure you spend time listening to the type of language the interviewer uses  and then adapt your style to mirror theirs. For example someone with a strong preference of Kinaesthetic is likely to use words such as ‘grasp’, ‘flow’,  ‘handle’ , ‘hard’ etc, words that are about movement. Those with a preference for Auditory are likely to use words such as ‘listen’ hear’ and loud while those are more Visual can use words like ‘clarify’ ’clear’ and ‘demonstrate’. The more you practice listening to people the easier it will be to gauge their preferred communication style – this will help you adapt your own style very quickly. 

If you follow these four simple tips, your power and influence in the interview room is likely to be more impactful. 

To find out more tips about how you can increase your power and influence in an interview or work setting, don’t hesitate to contact our Careers & Employability team.