3 Things That Could Make You Suck Less At Job Interviews
#4: Rule Yourself
You would not believe how many interviews I had since I’ve started working on building a career back when I was 15. From recruiters to CEOs, interviewee to interviewer, hired to rejected, I’ve learnt a thing or two in dealing with interviews and managing your anxiety, doubts, and stress.
Below I’m sharing three things that I’d like to mainly highlight to be one of the most important realizations I came up questions after questions after questions.
- Reframing it into a conversation
I’ve met quite a number people who distinctly gets anxious about job interviews because of trying to speak out the perfect answer or by attempting to somehow mind-read their way in a question, looking for the answer they think an interviewer might want to hear. Some would go like as follows,
“So what are your strengths?”
“I’m a critical thinker. I tend to get very much into the details of things.”
“So what are your weaknesses?”
“I have a hard time saying no to people.”
Interviews are not beauty pageants Q&As in disguise. Don’t make it seem like it’s a one-way street of receiving a question and throwing a well-crafted answer. Attempt to be interested in reciprocating the question by asking them back or by expanding your one-off answer.
Build trust by opening yourself up more than just filling in with specific replies because these people who are interviewing you are potentially your future colleagues. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Gatekeeping interviewer today, after-work happy hour buddy tomorrow
Look at it this way. These people who are asking you a multitude of questions today are not just assessing you for your qualifications nor being defensive of the company gates trying to shoo away potential employees. They are also interrogating you to get to know you and what you would be like inside the company.
Seeking to know if you’re gonna fit into the culture that’s already prominently keeping everything in check. They are trying to understand who you are and what makes you tick in order to get a feel and sense of how they can better get along with you once you’re on the team.
So loosen up and be yourself. Don’t try to be anything that you’re not on your interviews because once you gain access inside the company and officially got onboard, you can’t keep up that false sense of self or identity that you’ve held up the minute you’ve first walked in that door. Hence, all or nothing, give it the whole you. As reality television stars often says,
“I can live with losing this competition with me being myself than trying to be somebody else.”
Trust me, you don’t want to end up what a lot of what-ifs.
3. All or Nothing
Send an e-mail before showing up the day of the interview. Show enthusiasm that you can’t wait to be there and be able to meet your future team. Ask a question. Ask ten questions if possible. Get to know the job better, the people you’re going to be working with, and the value that you could possibly add to the business.
Be direct and cut it succinct. Don’t stroll around the bushes with your answers trying to impress with long answers. Ask for the interviewer’s contact information. Get their card. Give them your card. Tell them that you had a great time. Let them know that you’ll be eagerly waiting.
Go home. Send a thank you letter for acknowledging the time they took to meet and speak with you. Send them a note or a reminder of something you’ve touched up in the interview. Make it personable and friendly. Attempt to crack a silly joke. Build some trust. Warm it up and make them feel safe and secure. Wait for their response and look for ways in which you could contact them without breaking the balance between determined and impatient.
Again, job interviews aren’t beauty pageant Q&As. No one is out there to come and get you when you’ve put out a bad answer. There’s even no such thing as a bad answer, there are just questions for which your expertise or intellect does not suffice at the moment. Don’t try to fake it with your eloquence and brevity because your body language is much louder. Just summing it up with one pro-tip: You can never go wrong with being yourself. If they don’t hire you, it’s probably for the good.