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How to Show Assertiveness in a Job Interview

by Ellie Williams, studioD

When people hear the word “assertive” they often take it to mean someone who is pushy or aggressive. However, assertiveness has more to do with confidence and professionalism. It’s also an important part of a successful job interview. Showing assertiveness during the interview gives you a certain amount of control and can also make you a stronger job candidate.

Use Strong Body Language

Most people form an impression within the first seconds of meeting you, so your demeanor can have a big impact on the success of your interview. Nonverbal cues influence an interviewer’s impression of you just as much your words do. Stand as soon as the interviewer approaches and reach out to shake his hand. Make direct eye contact, smile and carry yourself with your head high and your back straight. During the interview, keep your body open and relaxed. Don’t fidget, cross your arms or slouch, which can indicate hesitancy or insecurity.

Ask Questions

Show employers you’re not afraid to take charge by asking plenty of questions about the job and the company. For example, ask what types of projects you’ll work on and inquire about the short- and long-term goals for the position. Ask about the company’s corporate culture and management style and what kinds of qualities the company seeks in prospective employees. This shows the employer you’re committed to fitting in at the organization and that you’re already thinking of the role you’ll play there if hired.

Ask for the Job

At the end of the interview, ask what’s next in the hiring process, including when the interviewer expects to make a decision and if he’ll conduct follow-up interviews or choose a candidate after this round. Tell him how much you enjoyed learning about the job and reiterate a few specific skills you can bring to his company. Show him how enthusiastic you are about the position by asking for it. For example, say “I’m very excited about the prospect of using my 15 years of management experience to help your company grow. I hope you’ll consider me for the position.”

Share Your Ideas

Paint the employer a picture of how you’ll benefit the company if hired. When he asks a question such as “Why should I hire you?” take a bold stance. Mention scenarios you’re likely to encounter on the job, how you’d approach them and what results you expect from your efforts. Also, address specific challenges or obstacles the company faces, such as an upcoming expansion. Next, offer your suggestions for successfully navigating these impending changes.

About the Author

Ellie Williams has been a journalist since 2001. Her work has been recognized by her state's press association and by her local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Williams graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and humanities, with minors in French and theater.

Photo Credits

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