Beyond text: Communication and Gen Z – Part two: Nailing the interview

Posted October 13, 2015 by

College students and recent college graduates—part of Generation Z—often find themselves feeling unprepared for upcoming internship and job interviews. Part 2, Nailing the interview, of this three-part webinar series, Beyond text: Communication and Gen Z, prepares college students and recent college graduates for upcoming interviews by providing them with an understanding of nonverbal and verbal communication skills needed to succeed during the interview process. The webinar offers valuable tips for nailing the interview, practical do’s and don’ts, and anecdotes related to common interview mistakes.

This three-part webinar series, Beyond text: Communication and Gen Z, is hosted by Andrea McEwen Henderson (, former National Account Manager for College Recruiter, and features Bethany Wallace (, English Instructor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. Bethany serves as College Recruiter’s part-time Content Manager and will join the team full-time in 2016.

Key takeaways:

  • The audience will better understand the key role of communication skills—both verbal and nonverbal—in interview preparation and execution.
  • The audience will learn how to avoid common interview mistakes related to communication.
  • The audience will obtain a plethora of quick tips and suggestions related to communication and interview success.

If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

Do you think it’s more important for students to concern themselves with verbal or nonverbal communication skills when preparing for upcoming interviews?

Nonverbal and verbal communication are of equal importance. Researchers estimate that nonverbal communication accounts for 65% of total communication that takes place in our daily lives. Even though we tend to place the most emphasis on what we say, we can’t underestimate the value of our gestures, our appearance, and our actions from start to finish during the interview process.

When candidates arrive for interviews, what are the top 3 or 4 things they need to do in order to ensure they are prepared in terms of nonverbal communication?

  • Pay attention to the details. Details matter.
  • Dress well, as professionally as possible (wear a suit!). According to survey by David Schepp of AOL of 2000 managers, 65% indicated that clothing could be a deciding factor between 2 almost identical candidates, and that when meeting new people, 55% of the impact comes from the way a person dresses and acts when he walks through the door.
  • Make eye contact. 67% of employers cite that failure to make eye contact is a common nonverbal mistake candidates make during interviews.
  • Please smile. 38% of employers cite not smiling as a common nonverbal mistake.

What are some of the most common interview mistakes candidates make, particularly those related to communication?

  • Doing little to no research on the company is often cited as the #1 interview mistake.
  • Not preparing an answer for the “tell me about yourself” question.
  • Appearing desperate. Don’t! If you simply need a job or are in a bad employment situation currently, don’t make it obvious during the interview. Focus on the positives.
  • Don’t forget to ask for the job. As in sales, you can do a great job throughout the interview, but if you omit “the ask,” you’ve failed.

How can candidates “sell themselves” during the interview process without coming across as conceited?

  • Let your nonverbal skills speak volumes for you.
  • Do in-depth research, find “the holes,” and offer to fill them.
  • Have specific examples/proof statements prepared to answer the question, “Why should we hire you instead of the other candidates/why are you the best fit for this position?”
  • Have an answer prepared for the question, “Why do you want to work for this company?” You must demonstrate engagement.

What are some of your best tips and suggestions related to communication and interview success?

  • Remember that your interview begins when you pull into the parking lot. Drive slowly. Treat every person respectfully. You never know how each aspect of your behavior may contribute to the hiring process.
  • Send a thank you card—a real one via snail mail.
  • Never break ties, and do not burn bridges.

Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, and English Instructor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, looks forward to joining the College Recruiter team full-time in 2016. Follow Bethany on Twitter at @wallacembethany, on LinkedIn at, or on WordPress at

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