It doesn’t really matter if it’s your first or your thirty-first, most of us experience varying levels of trepidation at the prospect of an interview. There’s just something about presenting yourself and your qualifications to total strangers that can turn your knees into Jell-O.
Here’s a few professional tips on how to be prepared, survive and thrive like a professional at your next appointment.
1. You’ve already heard the mantra, “Dress for Success,” but let’s go one step further. DRESS COMFORTABLY. There is no rule that says you have to stick on an itchy tie or a blouse that seems to have a life of its own, just so people will think you’re a model out of a magazine. Make sure your clothing not only represents your personality, but makes you smile.
2. When doing your research, don’t just check out the company HOME page. Scroll down to the bottom banner and click on every link. The more you know, the more questions you can intelligently ask. Your inquiries will let your interviewer know you’re definitely interested in the company’s future.
3. Mama always told us to sit up straight and not slouch. Remember her wise words during your session. You don’t want to appear rigid and tense, but the other extreme doesn’t speak well for you either. You have a natural stance that you may have never notice. It’s time to recognize how you prefer to sit, stand and otherwise conduct your body movements.
4. The biggest challenge will most likely be your struggle to be yourself. We tend to want to aggrandize our skill sets in order to meet the needs we perceive are important. The truth is that many people have been hired strictly on the strength of their own personal confidence, with employers recognizing anything can be taught to someone who is open to learning. ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH JUST AS YOU ARE.
5. If you’re completely stumped by an interview question, the worst thing you can do is try to bluff your way through an answer. It’s more than okay to say, “I actually don’t know the answer to that. When I’ve encountered things I didn’t know before I took these actions…..”
6. Especially for introverts, it’s helpful to write out an imaginary question and answer session and practice, practice, practice. If possible, enlist the help of a friend. That way he/she can ask things you may not have previously considered.
7. It might also interest you to know a majority of people think they flubbed an interview AND STILL END UP GETTING HIRED. Why? Because it turns out some questions just don’t matter as much as others and you will probably never know which is which.
Interviews may never be the first item on our Christmas Wish List, but they will inevitably have to be dealt with sooner or later. If we take the time to approach them in a practical way, disregarding as many emotional roller coaster rides as is possible, we can not only survive, but thrive in the process.