Interview Insights


Dan Miller offers insight into the best days for interviews and how to present yourself.

I have always encouraged people to choose Wednesday or Thursday interviews if possible. Here’s some new research that adds to that advice. People feel most agreeable on Thursday, according to a study from McGill University in Montreal.  Researchers, who tracked behaviors in people working at least 30 hours a week, found that we become more accommodating as the week progresses toward the weekend. By Friday, though, the compliant mood is over: We’re in a rush to finish things and start the weekend. On Monday, it’s the pressure of the upcoming week. Productivity peaks Tuesdays, so we’re back to Wednesday and Thursday as the best days to present yourself as a new part of the team. (Also, you’ll get the best results if you choose between 9:00 and 11:00 AM for your interview.)

Here are some additional interview insights:

Body Language is 55% of the communication process. Communication can be enhanced or hindered by standing too close or too far away or being too animated or frigid.

Tone of Voice is 38% of the communication process. Excessive tone ranges, loudness or softness can open or close the “doorway” of communication.

Words make up only 7% of the communication process. The proper words can effectively communicate your message—but only with proper body language and tone of voice,

And more:

  • Practice your handshake. A weak handshake indicates a weak personality. Reach for full palm-to-palm contact. Don’t offer just fingers.
  • Sit comfortably in the chair. Don’t get too relaxed and slouch down. Sit straight and lean forward slightly. This shows interest and energy. When you are excited about something you are relating and you want to show you are “charged,” lean forward in your chair.  When you want to show that you are very knowledgeable and confident, then you should lean back, and that will indicate your expertise. Sit with your arms comfortably in your lap or on the chair arms. Do not cross your arms; this is still universally seen as closing off or holding back.
  • Do not put your hands to your mouth.  This is perceived as deceptive or trying to hide the truth. Avoid repetitive gestures. Avoid pointing or any excessive movements.
  • Be aware of unique personal habits.  (I recently coached a client with a very annoying, sucking sound laugh, which she offered approximately every 30 seconds. She was totally taken aback when I mentioned it and was genuinely unaware of its effect.)
  • Do not be uncomfortable with silence.  Experienced interviewers may purposely allow silence to see how you respond. Use the silence to rehearse what you may want to offer or what you may want to ask.
  • Watch the overuse of uh-huh or filler words.  I once coached a struggling salesman who seemed to think that controlling the conversation was an effective selling technique. Without drawing attention to it, I counted him saying “basically” 19 times in a three minute period. He had allowed this one word to be used as a quick filler anytime his mind was momentarily blank. Trust me; silence is better than the obnoxious overuse of a filler word.


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