With our current economy, the job market is harsh. For every position that is available, there may be over a hundred qualified candidates. It is essential that you have an outstanding job interview that distinguishes them from the rest. Often, people come in to my office saying, “I hate job interviews!” “I clam up!” or “I can’t be myself when I know someone is evaluating me.”
All of these feelings are normal and expected. Even the most confident individuals struggle with interviews. As a Career Counselor, I have participated in an abundance of mock interviews with different clients. When we get started, every client is insecure and uncomfortable; again, this is perfectly normal. However, after practice, the job interview gets easier and their confidence starts growing.
Job interview advice
I tell clients that in an interview, it is like they have a handful of gifts, skills, and assets in their pant pocket. Your job on the interview is to take those tricks out of your pocket and show them for everybody to see. People will often finish an interview and never really allow the person to see their skills and assets—the tricks were never taken out of their pockets. We all have so much potential, but if the employers do not see our potential, it is a lost cause. Here are some strategies that I have found essential for nailing your job interview (and exposing your tricks).
Research the company thoroughly before the interview
Companies are impressed if you can go into the interview with background information about their philosophy, vision, and goals. Before the interview go to their website and research how they do business. Write some key figures down that distinguish them from other companies in their trade. In the interview, make light of the fact that you really respect their philosophy or vision statement that you read about on their website. Also, research the job description that you are applying for, evaluate specific qualifications that they want and that you have you, and talk about these in the interview as well.
Ask excellent questions
You want your employer to know that you are curious and incredibly interested in their company. Ask questions like the below.
- What would a typical work day look like for me?
- What they (the interviewer) likes about working for the company, what is a challenge?
- What is the work environment like?
- What are the company’s goals for the long term, and what qualities is the company seeking out in an ideal employee?
Additionally, remember that they are not only interviewing you, you are interviewing them as well. You want to make sure that the work you do will be in line with your values, priorities, and financial goals.
Eye contact and posture
Eye contact is important in an interview. When a candidate looks down frequently, it sends a message of insecurity and lack of competence. Eye contact for some people can be a scary thing. However, practice makes perfect. Practice good eye contact with family and friends and ask for feedback on how you’re doing. Posture is also important in job interviews. Sit up straight, cross your legs or put them together, and face your shoulders, neck, and chin up.
Have you ever heard the expression “fake it until you make it?” I think this is true, and it works. If you wake up feeling crummy about your life, try taking a shower and getting dazzled up. Don’t you feel better?
The same applies for an interview. In an interview, you might feel nervous as heck, insecure, and desperate for a job. All of these feelings are normal and feel free to share them with friends. However, in an interview you need to practice the skill of faking it if you’re feeling insecure. When you walk into the interview imagine that you are the most confident, capable, and successful candidate. You are motivated, skilled, and will work hard for that job. The power of self-talk is huge. You may want to create messages to yourself on note cards with different positive self talk statements like:
- “I am highly successful.”
- “My skills and qualifications are in demand.”
- “I am a sought after employee.”
- “I have what it takes to make an amazing teacher.”
- “People love me.”
Giving yourself these messages daily will help you increase your self-esteem. The messages that we tell ourselves, whether right or wrong become our reality, take some time to reflect on this.
Always send a thank you card after the interview. Better yet, have one in hand to give after the interview.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice these strategies repeatedly. Practice with your spouse or a trusted friend. Heck, I have had clients practice with a stuffed animal—there’s no shame! The more you practice these strategies, the more comfortable you will feel in the real interview.
Here’s to NAILING your next interview! Cheers:)
The original article can be found here: http://centerforhealingandchange.com/blog/?p=62
For more articles by Kelly Johnson, check out her blog at http://centerforhealingandchange.com/blog/.
Kelly Johnson is therapist from Aurora, CO. Kelly sees people for a wide variety of issues, but has a special passion for empowering people with a strong sense of self esteem and identity which results in healthier relationships and families.