How to Finesse Your Job Interview
So you have made it to the interview stage.
You should feel proud that the employer was impressed enough to want to conduct a personal interview.
I bet you didn't realize that interview is actually latin for "intervede," which means "to see about each other."
This is your opportunity to sell yourself and to find out if this is the job/position that you want.
The first thing you need to do is relax.
Take 3 deep breaths and imagine yourself having a successful interview, feeling confident, and acting professional. You may also want to do a "mock interview" where you practice answering questions with a partner, this will help to alleviate some of that nervous tension necessary for communicating confidence and poise.
For most of us, an interview can bring about mixed emotions of excitement and fear.
Unfortunately, many people begin to focus on the fear and begin to worry about everything: What if I say the wrong thing? What if I make a mistake? What if I am rejected for the job? All of this negative thinking can lead to nothing but negative consequences. So stop worrying!
Since the purpose of the interview is for you and the interviewer to reach an employment decision, you can feel comfort in knowing that you are interviewing them, just as much as they are interviewing you.
Think of the interview as your opportunity to get to know more about the position, your potential new supervisor, and the company. Take advantage of your opportunity by showing your interest and asking solid questions.
When it comes to the job interview, there are four things you need to master:
Positive thinking means believing in yourself and your abilities. When interviewing, attitude is everything.
If you know you are the best person for the job, you have a much better chance of convincing of someone else.
Preparation is the second key ingredient to successful interviewing.
If you come prepared and ready to get the job, you can impress the employer with your knowledge about the position, company, and product.
Prior to the big day, gather all the information you can about the employer. You can do this by accessing the employer's web page, reading annual reports, and talking with people who work there. There is no excuse for a poor response to the question: "What impresses you most about our company?"
Be personable. Be who you are. Laugh, make jokes if appropriate, make small talk.
Build rapport with him or her. Employers want to hire people, not robots. By showing your personality, your genuiness shines through.
Not surprisingly, one of the main reasons people get hired is because they are likeable.
Finally, be professional. Even if this is your first time in an interviewing situation, you can act like you are a pro by dressing conservatively, answering questions directly, and maintaining proper nonverbal communication (leaning forward in your chair and smiling).
This may be their first or last impression of you, so make it a good one!
After your interview, evaluate how you think you did and make notes so that you can improve your next time around.
Be sure to follow up with a thank you note and call within two weeks if you have not heard from them.
But the biggest secret to who gets hired is that many times the most qualified person does not always get the job offer! Why?
Because jobs go to the person who interviews best, who connects with their interviewer(s) by establishing rapport, raising their interest, demonstrating a need, proposing a solution, and closing the deal.
Practice the four P's to successful interviewing and you may be the next one who goes from interviewee to employee.
Michelle L. Casto, M.Ed. is a Whole Life Coach, Speaker, and Author of the Get Smart! LearningBook Series: Get Smart! About Modern Romantic Relationships and Get Smart! About Modern Career Development.
She can be reached at Get Smart Series and Bright Light Coach