In 1975, during the International Woman’s Year, Helen Reddy sang, “I am woman, hear me roar.'' While that’s how you want to feel in an interview, those are probably not the exact words to use during one. More than words, a woman’s sense of empowerment comes from self-confidence. Because a lack of confidence is one of the reasons people don’t get hired, you want to sound confident in an interview, speaking honestly, politely and displaying positive body language.
Prepare what to say during your interview so that you can give direct answers. If you ramble, you won’t sound empowered or professional. One way to prep your answers in advance is to write out your skills with an example of how you used each one at prior jobs. Tighten each response so it is brief yet comprehensive. Then, when you answer the interviewer, take time to listen and consider which prepped response best fits. You may have to alter your answer to fit the question, but look your interviewer in the eye and smile.
At the end of the interview, if you want the job, say so. It takes courage to be bold, and letting your interviewer know that you do want to work for the company is both bold and honest. Research the company -- looking at the company website, reading its mission and values, Googling recent news on the organization. Articulate a strong, yet genuine response to the question, “Why do you want to work here.” Even if you are not asked, offer that response with a sense of certainty.
Power of Manners
Don’t think manners are for wimps, or that they make you appear weak as a woman. Manners in business are a mark of professionalism no matter your gender or age. How you speak to others is a sign of confidence. If you want to sound like the empowered woman you are, listen attentively without cutting off the person speaking, smile and say “Thank you,” for the interview. Immediately after the interview, write a thank-you note to your interviewer.
And remember, it’s not always what you say, but how you say it that will communicate your women’s empowerment. Think of Wonder Woman -- her stance is open, her posture erect and her stare direct. Now don’t go overboard and intimidate your interviewer, but do sit up straight and hold eye contact. Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, affirms that if you practice a Wonder Woman-like pose before an interview, you’ll feel more confident. That doesn't mean power-posing in the lobby as you wait, but excuse yourself briefly to the restroom where you can freshen up and channel Wonder Woman. Be strong. Be invincible.
Charli Mills has covered the natural food industry since 2001 as a marketing communications manager for a highly successful retail cooperative. She built teams, brands and strategies. She is a writer and editor of "This is Living Naturally," a consultant for Carrot Ranch Communications and a Master Cooperative Communicator.