Your Secret Interview Weapon

Written by on September 2, 2013 in Blog, Interviews with 4 Comments

Interview Tips—Your Smile Is a Weapon

You might be surprised when I tell you this, but your smile can be a powerful interview weapon. Yes, you heard me right—your smile.

I know what you’re thinking. What about my experience? My accomplishments? Those are certainly important; they are what got you to the interview. But now that you’re here, you’re competing against other people who also have good experience and impressive accomplishments. If you want to come out on top you need an edge, and your smile could be the edge you need.

A genuine smile has an amazing effect on people. Notice I said a genuine smile. A quickly manufactured, pop-on-your-face type smile won’t do. It has to be the real thing, so if you’re not a natural smiler, start practicing.

  • Have you ever watched a movie and the first 30 minutes were slow and full of plot holes? When that happens to me I start looking for other things wrong.
  • How about trudging through the first few chapters of a book, and spotting a mistake? Suddenly you find yourself searching for typos or misused words.
  • Even vacations aren’t immune to the effects. Have you ever been on the way to the beach and been hit with thunderstorms?

Things like that put a damper on the rest of your experience. I’m going to let you in on one of my secret interview tips…

Interviews Are No Different

If you walk into the room and shake hands with a member of the interview team while wearing a frown, or even a serious expression, it might not make them view you with a jaded eye but it certainly won’t give you an edge. And you need every edge you can get because the competition for good jobs is fierce.

It’s a fact that most job offers go to the candidate who interviews the best, not the best candidate for the job. Why not start yourself out with an edge—smile. There are no defenses. Once you get the interviewer smiling, you’ll be ahead of the pack, and once you’re there it’s your job to lose.

Flash smiling

Flash smiling

A Real Smile Can Be Wonderful

There is a lot of wisdom in old quotations and sayings. One of my favorites is, “Laughter is the best medicine.” And now there is scientific proof to support that theory. I’ve included a few facts about smiling—all scientifically proven—for you to consider.

  • Smiling makes you more attractive.
  • Smiling makes you feel better.
  • Smiling is contagious.
  • Smiling relaxes you.
  • Smiling is a drug.
  • Smiling gives you confidence.
  • Smiling lifts your spirits.

Most important of all—it’s almost impossible for the other person not to smile when someone smiles at them. Even if they don’t smile on the outside, they are smiling on the inside. For the purpose of an interview, that’s even better.

Bottom Line

Now that you know all that a smile can do for you, get in front of the mirror and practice. You can thank me later.

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About the Author

About the Author: When I’m not headhunting, or writing, I help my wife take care of our animal sanctuary. At last count we had 45 animals—11 dogs, 1 horse, 6 cats, and 26 pigs. Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar named Dennis who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy. For information on my mystery/suspense books, go to .

4 Reader Comments

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  1. avatar Joy says:

    Job getting is Crystal Ball work. I was offered my last BIG job because the Sales Manager was my age and we liked the same music. He said when he hired me that he preferred me at my first interview with him because I was up and fun. The second interview when he told me I was up again 16 others, I got very serious. However, I also had all the vital requirements.
    Divine Interventions helps too.

    • avatar giammatteo

      Joy: you’re right. Enthusiasm and personality are underrated in the interview process. If the interview team likes someone, that goes a long way toward an offer.

  2. avatar Aliza Giammatteo says:

    I saw a TV show recently where they were had done some studies on genuine smiles vs. fake smiles (among other things, like detecting when someone is lying).

    It was interesting because they showed that a genuine smile comes through in your eyes. Some people would even have those ‘crow’s feet’ wrinkles alongside their eyes when it was genuine, but not in their fake smile.

    These are very minor differences and if most people were shown a screenshot of both a fake and a genuine smile they might struggle to distinguish which is which. But I think in the natural course of conversation we do notice these subtle differences (even if we may not be able to pinpoint how we know the difference).

    I had to laugh a bit at that study because the model and talk show host, Tyra Banks, always tells her fans to ‘smile with their eyes’. That’s been one of her secrets in her modeling career (and, I believe, in life). So, Tyra Banks called it? Interesting…how many of the rest of us have known that, whether consciously or subconsciously?

  3. Aliza: Absolutely right. It is important for it to appear genuine, because an easily detected “fake” smile might do you more harm than good. If anyone wants to see the differences all you have to do is look at a picture of a baby smiling. The eyes are dead giveaways.
    Jim Giammatateo recently posted..Your Secret Interview Weapon My Profile

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