It’s human nature to be afraid of not being liked or accepted by others. In the context of an interview, the stakes are even higher. It’s not at all unusual to find that even the most confident and extroverted personalities in the world are not immune to nervousness or anxiety in such situations. After all, striving for a phenomenal first impression is difficult enough without the added pressure of losing a great professional opportunity.
If you are someone that regularly finds themselves being unceasingly uncomfortable in such situations of pressure, then abide by the following 10 tips to you make sure that you score 100% leaving that interview:
- Interview Your Interviewer: Almost universally, no matter what you’re interviewing for, interviewers will at some point ask you the following question: “Do you have any questions for me?” Now most people, after a good 30 mins (or more) of detailed conversation about company policy and terms truthfully don’t have any further questions or concerns to address. They will state that is the case and end their interview on that note. If this is you however, drop this habit immediately! One of the most important things to understand about the application and interviewing process is that your last impression is just as important (if not more), than your first impression. The reason for is simply that when employers ask this question to potential candidates, more often than not, they’re not actually looking to answer a question; they’re assessing your level of interest in the company and the position. It’s a great way to weed out those that are passionate about the position and job title from those that are simply zombie walking through the application process. Passionate and highly interested individuals are candidates that simply won’t want the conversation to end and will be eager to gather as much information as they can. These are the individuals that leave an interview really standing out among a sea of equally qualified applicants. So the next time you find yourself at an interview, even if you already know everything you could possibly have to know about the place of employment you’re interviewing at, ask them the question anyway. The age old saying “there are no wrong questions” applies perfectly here.
- Clean Up Your Profile: No, we don’t mean you how you’re dressed (although we will get to that later). We mean the social media profiles that so many individuals neglect to maintain and keep professionally appropriate. Living in the tech-savy world of today, we are both blessed and cursed for being so incredibly interconnected with each other. Sure, it takes communication and collaboration to a whole other level but it also means that privacy isn’t what it used be. An employer’s judgment call for many candidates these days, is just as dependent upon the conclusions they make about you looking at your social media, as it is based upon the quality of references/recommendation letters you provide. If a company places so much importance about hearing from people that know you, just imagine how important your facebook, pinterest, twitter, or linkedin profile (all of which are you) will be to them. Set yourself up for success by making sure that everything visible to the public is not anything inappropriate or profane.
- Google *Insert Company Name*: The worst thing you can do walking into any interview is to not have a solid understanding of what the company is about or what the employers are looking for. Don’t be the person that has nothing to say when a company employee asks you what you know about the company so far. Research, research, research! Walking in with prior knowledge is another great way to show interest in the position and leave a good impression.
- Know When the *Real* Interview Begins: So many people today walk into an interview location wrongly assuming that their interview doesn’t begin until they meet their interviewer. While this is mostly true, the fact remains that making a good impression is not only a MUST with the employee directly interviewing you, but also with the other staff you encounter pre or post interview. This is a sneaky tactic many employers are beginning to rely on more and more to assess a potential candidate in not only professionalism, but also good manners. The receptionist you ignored or didn’t pay attention to when you entered the location or left the interview may play a bigger role on your interview day than you think.
- Roleplay & Become the Employer: If you’re a hot mess when it comes to being asked interview questions, this is a great method to effectively and fully prepare mentally for the kind of questions you could be thrown. Put yourself in the position of the person interviewing you, and imagine that you were handed the same resume, application and references you provided to the company; what kind of things would you inquire more about? What strengths or weaknesses do you see? Does this person look like someone you’d want to add to the team if you were the one hiring? Asking and answering such questions as honestly and genuinely as possible will prepare you the most difficult and worst kind of questions you could be thrown on the big day.
- Be on Fleek: This is something you should already know and be executing, but in case you didn’t, here is why this is so important. Numerically speaking, you have about 7 seconds to make a solid first impression on any given stranger. Within these couple seconds, that person will make 7 different conclusions about you without even hearing a word out of your mouth; these conclusions include whether or not you’re trustworthy, whether or not you’re promiscuous, what your sexual orientation is likely to be, how educated you must be, how adventurous you are, how successful you are and how dominant you are. The scientific term for this subconscious decision making is called “thin slicing.” No wonder so many people stress the importance of dressing well or being especially well groomed at a job interview.
- Arrive (Reasonably) Early: Having the interviewer waiting on you in any shape or form is a disastrous way to make a good impression. If the interview is occurring at a location you’ve never been to before, definitely be certain that you have the correct address and time of the interview so that you can account for things like traffic, construction or bad weather; all of which can all further delay how long it takes for you to get there. Additionally, showing up around 15 mins early shows that you are not only responsible, but respect and value the employer’s time.
- Stare at the Glabella: Not well known, the glabella is the area of skin between the eyebrows and above the nose. If you’re someone that’s easily intimidated or just another nervous Nellie, doing this gives the illusion that you are maintaining constant eye contact with your interviewer. It’s a superb way to ease your nerves, give off the vibe that you’re a confident candidate and impress your interviewer in the process.
- Play the Mirror Game: Research shows that people who practice or demonstrate similar nonverbal behaviors are more likely to gain the trust and admiration of the other person. Who knew mimicry was not so minimal after all? Be sure not to go overboard and copy every single thing your interviewer does however; subtleness is key!
- Don’t Forget the Magic Words: Did you know that for many companies and employers, the biggest and most influential part of the hiring decision making process is what you do after the interview? This is something most people never think to do, but it can mean the difference between you getting hired and you missing the opportunity to someone that did take the time to follow up his/her interview with a thank you letter or card for the employer. Doing this not only demonstrates that you have good manners and appreciate the company taking the time or making the effort to get to know you, but also that you are someone with higher interest than other candidates they may be considering.
Given that you’re qualified for the job and already have a good resume, following these 10 tips of advice is a full proof plan to make certain that you’ll #BeSuccessful!