Interview Preparation: Be Positive, Interested, and Engaged

November 22, 2021 in Career and Job Search Tips, HR Best Practices, Interview Tips


No matter which side of the interview desk you sit on, you absolutely must use interview preparation to make a great impression. The employer has to be ready to explain why their organization and the position provide a great opportunity for the candidate; likewise, the candidate has to convince the potential employer why s/he’s the best person for the job.

But is there such a thing as being TOO prepared with interview preparation?

Maybe. Over-rehearsing responses can make you sound more like you’re reading a script than spontaneously answering a question. And when you’re focused on regurgitating memorized information, you can’t be fully mentally present – which can cause you to appear preoccupied or disingenuous.

So whether you’re hiring or on the job hunt, make sure you don’t take things too far. Use these tips from Kinsa Group’s Recruiters to be thoroughly prepared for your next interview – without sounding like a robot:

  • Prepare high-level speaking points. Scripted answers sound phony, so resist the temptation to totally rely on them. Do your homework in advance of the interview, so you can organize a bullet point list of key topics to cover. If you know these examples well and can refer to them from your list, you can customize your responses in real-time to fit the interview question – and sound genuine.
  • Be authentic. When you walk into the interview room, take a deep breath (robots can’t do this!) and clear your head. If you’ve adequately prepared for the interview, remind yourself that you’re ready for this. Focus your attention on the individual you’re meeting with and try to “be in the moment.”
  • Remember the P-I-E principle. To make the best impression, strive to be Positive, Interested, and Engaged during the interview. Instead of obsessing about what question to ask or answer next, be a thoughtful participant and a good listener.
  • Read your audience. Throughout the interview, stay mindful of the other person’s posture, demeanor, and other subtle nonverbal cues. Stay relaxed and in-tune with him by using the “mirroring technique.” Subtly adjust your own orientation, posture, and hand positions to reflect the body language of the person on the other side of the desk.

Want more great advice on food & beverage interview preparation?

Check out these earlier posts from Kinsa Group: