That Smile That Can Win a Job Interview …

The video chat was not long: I needed an interpreter urgently, because the client was already waiting for my email proposal with a whole package of services. A good client, by the way, it would’ve been stupid to loose him. So, I didn’t have much time and I had to choose an interpreter to work with.

The girl seemed smart, reliable, serious and motivated, which was good. But she was so young! Her voice was child-like and she looked like a high school student. We were still talking, but I kind of knew that I was not going to hire her.

I was wrapping up the interview and saying something conventional like “It was a pleasure meeting you”, when all of a sudden she moved a bit forward toward her screen so I could see her face in close-up. She raised her hand in greeting and answered something like “I am sorry I cannot shake your hand”. Her eyes were looking directly into mine and she was smiling genuinely, showing me rows of beautiful white teeth, and I suddenly realized: that was the smile of success!

She had it in her nature, without training or spending years in international work. She was a diplomat by personality type, and so every experience was going to only develop what she’d already had from birth. That was exactly the smile I always expect to see on faces of experts in international business.

I hired her and gave her the job. In the following years, she became a wonderful assistant, and a friend, a good friend. I never regretted that I’d hired her.

So, how does it work? What kind of smile can win a job interview? During years of my career, I learned a few ‘smile-building rules’ that cannot be just  imitated: they become the background for forming the facial expression of success. Here they are:

  1. A good smile is the one that is
    relaxed. A tensed smile only shows your nervousness, but a natural
    one displays your strong ability to control yourself even in
    situations of nervousness.

  2. A smile of success shows
    confidence and independence of a person’s mind: it is not blunt or
    arrogant; it is simply a smile of a person who is completely
    self-sufficient and knows what he/she is doing.

  3. A smile of success is not about
    making jokes or showing your humorous nature; no, it is different.
    It tells everyone without words that you are intelligent and smart.
    This is a smile of politeness and respect for those who you are
    talking to.

  4. A good smile should come on a
    good moment. You should not smile all the time — just keep it like
    a trump card and pull it out when the moment is right.

  5. A good smile reflects your positive nature: it tells to
    others that you aren’t bringing problems, but quite on the opposite:
    you may become their mascot, if you know how to use it.

Well, now, try to imagine that you possess all of the qualities I listed above. Think of a skill that you are really proud of (it may be anything, from cooking delicious foods to making great tea or dancing polka, or  programming). Think about your best skill and tell about it to a looking glass. At some moment you’ll see yourself smiling. This will be the smile. Remember it.

Train it and keep it with you when you come to a meeting that’s very important to you. If this is a job interview, that smile can well get you hired.

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librocubicularist | nonfiction | moonlights as the host of Silent Book Club Kota Kinabalu | writes on Scrivener

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