Interviewing for Jobs as Yourself
Since the majority of clients that I work with are second language speakers of English in the Silicon Valley, the topic of communication is always is met with fear and apprehension, especially in any high pressure situations. This worry is exacerbated whenever a new job interview is presented.
This is the Silicon Valley, so most of my clients are engineers, coders, and other tech-minded people. That being said, I find that regardless of their language competence this can sometimes be a disadvantage when it comes to the interview process. Stereotype or not, I find that a majority of my clients do not need to communicate intricately outside of the command line when at work. I would like to provide a few suggestions that I have noted to be helpful when it comes to going in for an interview.
Speak from your heart and brain.
While this might be fairly cliche to think about, many of my clients are more concerned with writing every single word down for their interview presentation. I’ve worked with people that have brought in a first draft of a ten minute presentation spanning five single-spaced pages of notes. To present well, is to not read off of your notes like a machine.
In regards to both your power point presentation and your presentation notes, I call upon the classic acronym K.I.S.S., also known as “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Concise writing is the key to a presentation that will keep your audience fully engrossed and notes that are legible. Of course it is still important to use technical jargon in your presentation, however, your simplicity should be in the conveyance of that information.
As for your notes, write down keywords that will help trigger content memory, like “Hello!” to remind you that this is the personal introduction portion. The takeaway for this suggestion is that you are already well acquainted with your content and bio, you’ve studied and researched for years, present with cognitive passion.
Use body language to your advantage.
Good posture, a loose body, hand movement, and a happy professional demeanor are all things that will make you appear comfortable and qualified. As I have said to many of my clients, the reality is that many people that are interviewing for the job are similarly qualified, so what will make you stand out? Make yourself memorable.
If your interview is at 9am the next morning, the best thing you can do is to sleep well the night before. Treat your night like any other relaxed Sunday evening: read a nice book, spend time with friends and family, or have a beer. The reality is, anything you could have planned the night before will not be beneficial to your mindset or composure. If I may refer to the paragraph above, you already know everything that you need to know about yourself and the specialty that you can offer your prospective employment, any other planning should have already been done before this point.
Arrive on time.
This is the one day that you should not be sleeping in, and you will not need to because you had a good night’s sleep before (see above). You should arrive to an interview at least thirty minutes before it starts, so that you can use the bathroom and follow my next point.
Watch YouTube videos.
When recently working with a client who had an upcoming interview, I suggested that she watch YouTube videos of Corgis once she had parked her car at the location of the interview. My client loves Corgis, she talks about them whenever we have a free discussion during a lesson. The thought of them relaxes her and fills her with happiness, why not use this at the moment you are most insecure and nervous? Whether it is heavy metal, fish playing soccer videos, or pictures of sunsets, find what relaxes you most and engage in that as you wait for your interview.
With any of these suggestions, what I am emphasizing most is for you to be yourself during an interview. If you are qualified for the position, everything you know and are will be exactly what you should show them. I would love to hear about what you do to prepare for an interview, maybe it will be absorbed into my lesson.