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Talking Points

During our interactive workshop #TalkingPoints, Suzanne Collier from bookcareers.com shared her tips and tricks for succeeding at publishing interviews. Suzanne is *the* person to see if you want to get ahead in the publishing industry, and she didn’t disappoint. Having coached hundreds of people, Suzanne has expertly honed her craft and was recently shortlisted for Career Coach of the Year at the prestigious UK Career Development Awards 2022. Despite having to move her workshop online due to unforeseen circumstances, Suzanne commanded the room and delivered a session packed with invaluable information.


Here are seven of Suzanne’s top tips for strengthening your performance in face-to-face interviews:


1. Correcting your posture helps you to exude confidence even if you are nervous.


Many people formed bad habits whilst working from home during the pandemic. Are you prone to hunching over your laptop? Well, slouching can leave a poor impression during a job interview – it has been associated with a lack of self-esteem and interest. By making sure you sit upright with your shoulders back, you can radiate confidence.


2. 80% of communication is non-verbal: body language matters.


Having an awareness of how body language can impact someone’s perception of you is essential. After all, first impressions aren’t easily forgotten. Folding your arms in an interview can indicate defensiveness, hostility and boredom. Similarly, clasping your hands together can signify tension. In contrast, being relaxed and leaning in during questions can indicate you are keen to engage in your interview.


3. Mirroring and matching body language helps to build rapport with others.


Usually, this comes naturally to people, so don’t make it the primary focus of your interview! By copying the body language of your interviewer, you can build positive connections.


4. Do your research: interviewers seek candidates who demonstrate why they

want to work for their specific company.


When you think of your dream publisher, what books and authors do you think of? Where have you seen them before? It is critical to be able to discuss your personal connection to a publisher’s books in detail. Sign up to their newsletter, and follow them across different types of social media so that you can see how they adapt their content for different audiences. Use your research to spark conversation and illustrate your knowledge!


5. Preparation is key!


Make sure to draw out important details, skills and competencies from job adverts and descriptions. For each one, write examples of how you have met the criteria. This will allow you to tailor your answers, and if you do it close to the interview, it will stay fresh in your mind.


6. How to combat nerves with the folder trick.


If you find that your mind goes completely blank during interviews, this trick is a lifesaver! Bring a clear plastic folder with you containing all of your research on the company – on the top include a page of notes to glance at if you freeze. You’ll find that having prompts can help to settle your nerves and act as a safety net.


7. Gratitude is great: always email after an interview.


Don’t forget to thank your interviewers for their time and consideration. This is also a perfect opportunity to reaffirm your interest in the job and include any information that you may have forgotten. If you couldn’t answer a question in the interview, show that you have done further research.


Interviews can be nerve-racking, but they don’t need to be. By following this advice and preparing sufficiently, you will leave a good impression. However, it’s important to remember that if you don’t get the job, it might be a lucky escape. As the Scottish saying goes, whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye.


A huge thank you to Susan Collier for hosting this workshop. Be sure to check out bookcareers.com for further guidance on CVs, coaching and much more. The recording of #TalkingPoints will be available to watch online for all ticketholders until 31st May 2022.


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