< Back to all insights

3 Secrets to Career Success (part 4) - Charisma

by James Callander October 25, 2011

In the fourth part of the FreshMinds Talent blog series on the secrets to career success, Phil Bolton, career coach with Less Ordinary Living talks about the 3rd secret - Charisma

Sparkling at interview is the final step to landing your ideal job.

Succeeding at interview means creating strong rapport with your interviewer and showing the charisma needed to stand out from the crowd.

Charisma means being remarkable.  The best candidates tend to have that X Factor that leaves them lingering in the interviewers mind, long after the interview is over.

The good news is that you can develop the skills to be charismatic and confident at interview.

Charismatic communication can be broken down into two parts – non-verbal and verbal.  Developing both areas will help you to get the job you want.

Part 1 – Speaking with your body (non-verbal)

The time-old statistic indicates that something like 75% of communication is non-verbal.  Working on the following areas can help you to communicate effectively with your body:

Body Language – showing comfortable and positive body language is a key part of communicating effectively.  To be engaged and charismatic in an interview:

• Sit upright in your chair and lean slightly forward to appear engaged with the interviewer
• Be aware of the energy of the interviewer.  Make it your objective to try and raise the interviewer’s energy slowly and make them feel good about the interview.  Don’t start out being manic if they are downbeat, instead try to be one step more energetic and raise the level slowly.
• Try to avoid obvious signs of nervousness such as touching your face, tapping your foot, jiggling your leg.  Take two deep breaths to regain calm if you feel nerves creeping in.  You can also use the anchoring techniques outlined below.
• Smile and nod when the interview is speaking to show encouragement to the interviewer.

Anchoring – learning to stay calm and relaxed can really help you to sparkle.  This anchoring exercise will help you to find a state of calm when you really need it in the interview:

• Close your eyes and recall a time in your life when you felt really calm and relaxed.
• As you start to visualize that moment, step into your body and you are see, hear and feel that memory.
• Once your feel absolutely in the moment, put your thumb in contact with your index and middle fingers on your left hand.�
• Link the feeling of calm to the circle you have made with your fingers.  This is your anchor.
• Repeating this exercise will strengthen the anchor.

When you need a moment of calm and charisma in your interview, you can take a deep breath, make your anchor and feel the link back to this moment of calm.

Eye contact – maintaining good eye contact is a sign of confidence and composure.  Getting the balance right between avoiding someone’s gaze and staring them down is difficult.

Start to practice your eye contact in every conversation and situation to get comfortable with good eye contact.  Try holding eye contact for a little longer than you are comfortable and build up your stamina.

Part 2 -speaking engagingly – verbal communications

Most great orators weren’t born that way – their ability comes from extensive practice.

To sparkle at your interview concentrate on developing your pace, pause and passion:

Pace: Interviews can make the best of us nervous and this can make our words per minute skyrocket.  Keeping a check on your pace of speaking can help you control your nervous and appear confident and charismatic.

How? Pick a conversation at work or at home to practice speaking more slowly.  Take some deep breaths in advance and concentrate on speaking more deliberately and slowly than feels normal.  If you need to use the anchoring technique to stay calm.

Pitch: A monotone voice is very difficult to get excited about.  Learning to vary your pitch will keep interviewers concentrating on your every word.

How?  Practice at home by singing scales in front of the mirror.  Breathe deeply from your abdomen, listen to the range of your voice and feel the variety.  Try introducing the same breathing and range into normal conversations (at the shops, at home) and see how it feels.

Passion – To be a highly charismatic candidate you’ll need to convey your excitement and energy in your voice.  Even if you’ve prepared great answers they can drop on deaf ears if you don’t speak with passion.

How?  Set up a practice conversation with someone you trust.  Talk to them about something you are really passionate about and put as much energy into your speech as possible.  Ask them for feedback, then try again and see if you can get even more sparkle into the story.

Charisma can be learned through a dedication and practice.  Focus on developing your non-verbal and verbal skills and you will shine at interview and get the job you want.

Next week: our round-up of all the techniques and secrets from the whole series…

For more information about Phil’s work visit http://www.lessordinaryliving.com

Image 2022 02 25 T07 42 12

Stay in the know

Get the latest business insights, news and events, straight to your inbox.

Image 2022 02 25 T07 41 52

This site is not supported by Internet Explorer. Please use Chrome, Firefox, Safari or another browser to fully view and utilise.