It’s easy to get bogged down worrying about all the things you could get wrong during a job interview. Here are some simple tips to help you stop worrying and start getting results from your job interviews.
1. Arrive Early
The best way to be on time for your interview is to plan for an early arrival. Remember, you won’t just be arriving and walking straight into an interview room. You’ll need to find your way to reception and check in, and you’ll want to get acclimatized to the new environment. Plus, you may need to use the bathroom or redo your hair. If you’re unfamiliar with the area where the business is located, consider scouting it out a few days before to make sure you don’t get lost.
2. Be Gracious to Everyone
Being a decent person shouldn’t just be reserved for those you want to impress. Be polite and engaged when speaking to the receptionist, other hopefuls for the job, and anyone else you meet in the building. This is just good form for life generally, but it will also help your prospects – people in an office talk: be rude to the receptionist and you might undercut your whole interview!
3. Be Yourself
Interviewers want to meet you because it’s you they’ll be hiring – not a babbling mess of nerves or an elaborately constructed personality you hope will impress them. So, use deep breathing and power poses to calm your nerves and don’t be a faker. Present the best version of yourself, but it has to be yourself.
4. Tell Your Story
While you don’t want to be reading from a script or monologuing about yourself too much, it’s good to have a basic idea of the story you want to present about yourself and how you want to tell it. Your story should indicate why you – specifically you — are the right person for this job while answering some potential questions in advance and conveying something of your personality. All in less than two minutes. It’s not an easy task, and it will take work, but this will really boost your hireability. There’s no one right way to tell your story, but here are some tips:
- Keep the ‘set-up’ short and sweet.
- Make it specific, never generic.
- Keep things simple – avoid too many ‘plot twists’.
- Avoid negativity.
- Include future goals — show them that you know where you’re going and that this job is part of your journey.
5. Be Aware of Your Body Language
Body language is a complex topic. In fact, it’s worthy of its own blog post, but the basics can be summed up in a few points:
- Keep your posture upright and your arms open and relaxed, as opposed to closed and tight.
- Let your natural smile shine, but never fake a smile.
- Make eye contact and gesture with your hands while you speak, if it feels natural.
- Plant your feet firmly on the ground when seated, and avoid foot tapping.
6. Ask Questions
Too often people see asking questions as an admission of weakness or something that will make them look stupid. But, in fact, asking questions shows curiosity, humility, and even intelligence – it shows you’re smart enough to know what you don’t know!
7. Try these Three Weird Psychological Interview Hacks
- Warm, Dry Hands: If you’ve followed the advice above, you’ll be arriving early for your job interview. Use some of that time to warm your hands up under the hand dryer. Nerves can make your hands cold and sweaty, which gives a bad impression when shaking hands. On the other hand, a warm, dry handshake inspires confidence.
- The Mirror Game: Mirroring your interviewer's movements can subtly, unconsciously garner trust and create a sense of camaraderie between you. Of course, you don’t want to actually try and mirror their every movement in real time – that would be really creepy – but try to get in sync with their general vibe.
Take Your Time: Interviews can be nerve-wracking, and you might be tempted to answer questions immediately – both to appear enthusiastic and to get it over with more quickly. Resist this urge. Answering too quickly can actually make you seem a little fawning. Whereas taking your time to think before you speak not only shows your are thoughtful but is a sign of someone who knows their worth and believes what they have to say is important enough to get right.