Interviewing is often something that causes a great deal of anxiety for most people. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t need to!
If you read on you’ll find hints and tips for successful, low anxiety interviews! As with most things, the name of the game is being in the proper head-space.
I’ll go through the Pre-Interview, Interview, and Post-Interview processes that should help enable confidence and help you land your dream job. I know this seems like a big promise, but after reading hopefully you’ll understand that these things are quite within reach!
Before I dive into the interviewing process, I need to make one thing clear. You need to do your own research. This means you need to dig deep within yourself and find what type of industry you may be happiest with. Feel free to search each one: ( Agriculture,Mining & Construction, Mfg./ R&D, Sales/Marketing, Information/media/Entertainment,Finance/insurance, Professional & Business Services, Education & Health Services, Leisure/Hospitality/Culture, Government/Nonprofits/Nongovernmental Orgs, Transportation & Utilities). Once you’ve determined your key industries you can focus your job hunting and personal marketing devices.
Knowing what YOU want is paramount to anything else in this process.
Ok, so you got the interview with the company you positively want to work for…now what!!!
In the days leading up to the interview, you really want to get a good feel for what the corporate culture is like. Try and speak to as many people at the company as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask if they’d like to tell you about the day-to-day of the company, this part of the process is for you to develop a true connection with the corporate culture! Does it feel right to you? Allow yourself to relax in the culture, really try to let it sink in and feel it. Note the colors, sounds and smells of the workplace if you have the chance to case the joint first. This is where you’ll be working, make sure it is exactly what you want!
As you make your mental notes on the culture and the people in the organization try and start to see where you’ll fit. This will help you in the interview because you’ll be able to speak from the perspective as if you were already hired! The hiring manager may feel that since you seem to be part of the team already, you might just be a great candidate to bring on.
Understanding you can’t always get “on-location” is no excuse for not doing your research. Having a look at the company website, credo and executives can go a long way in helping determine corporate culture. Does the website look neat and organized, if so then you are likely dealing with a company that values it image (and its Website design!). Also have a look at company philanthropic ventures, I find these are good indicators to a company’s dedication to the community.
Do the things you’re learning about the company align with what you need in your career, your life?
It’s the day of the interview, you’ve had your eight hours and are feeling… well, you’re not sure yet. As you drink your coffee and grab your shower, remember to stay in the right head-space. Sure, you’re going to interview for the position this morning, but this isn’t just any interview! You’re about to get to showcase yourself and your brand that you’ve been building over the whole job-hunt! This is your time, you get to show why you’re here, what makes you a great fit with the company and the position!
It is at times like these when people sometimes make the mistake of trying to change their personality. This is not the time to do that. You are the one that took the time to find the job, decide if it was right for You so why change now? Your interview is like a date with the company you want to work for, doesn’t it have the right to know the real you, just like you want to know it.
As the interview draws closer, review your resume, are you able to point directly to examples you’ll use? Speaking of examples, what ones will you use? But wait, it’s happening. The interviews are beginning! As you begin, remember why you are here. What are the reasons the job’s day-to-day turns you on? What does the company do that is so great? Let those thoughts create energy within you and then channel that energy to your brain. As you speak, remember to smile and show your enthusiasm for the job. As you tell of your experience, ensure that the anecdotes pair well with the trait you are trying to show. Give quantitative answers that show the results of your actions (“redesigned packaging to reduce shipping costs by 10%).
Feel free to mix in bits and pieces of who you are in the dialogue as well. Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer about their history in the company or the industry. You’ll probably hear of both. Connect with the interviewer on more than just the job. Relax yourself, if you enjoy rock climbing, go ahead and mix in how your leadership skills helped you lead an expedition in Utah.
Usually you won’t find out whether you got the job immediately so it is this waiting period where you can review the interview and the techniques you employed to market yourself. This part is going to be different for everyone in how it is done, the point here is that it should not be forgotten. Were there any areas during the interview where you thought you screwed up? Any areas were you really shined? By taking a look back on the experience you can make mental notes of what to do differently in the future.