I’m sure you’ve read those other articles … you know the one’s: “7 interview tips that will help you get the job” or maybe “Top 10 tips for landing the job of your dreams.” I just want to give you some simple advice that may help you enjoy a more positive interview … advice that I use.
First and Foremost Be Yourself
Forget all of those “tips and tricks” to win over your interviewer, create rapport, persuasion techniques, etc. In our modern world people see through the B.S. and they don’t like it. Unless you are a professional mentalist just be yourself and let your interviewer see you for the fantastic person you are.
If you and your future boss don’t have “chemistry” in the interview then you have to ask yourself if you really want to engage in a long term relationship with this company. Yes, I said long term relationship because that’s what happens when you get hired, you end up having a relationship with your boss, the company, your peers, etc. If you don’t feel like you can be yourself and be appreciated during the interview, it might be a sign that it’s better to move on to the next opportunity. You have to decide for yourself, just be fair to who you are and what you deserve.
Job Interviews Should Be Fun!
When you go to an interview try to remember that you’re not walking down death row and you’re not being interrogated by Homeland Security. You are taking the first step towards starting a new chapter in your life, so try to enjoy the moment and have some fun! Interviews seem scary because there is the idea that you have to get the job, but maybe the goal shouldn’t be just to get another job. Maybe the goal should be to get a job that you can be proud of, a job where you can grow and feel like you are valued and important. Yes you want to sell yourself, your authentic self, but you are also interviewing them to decide if this company is a good fit for you. Both parties are deciding whether or not this will be a mutually beneficial engagement, plain and simple.
One small note on having fun, make sure you do not cross any social boundaries. Have fun but play it safe and act professionally. You also should try to avoid topics that are controversial like politics, religion, etc. Other than that, have a good time!
Be Confident but not Arrogant
It’s important to show confidence without arrogance … so what’s the difference? Arrogance is when you act like “I’m too good for you” whereas confidence is when you act like “I’m good enough for me.” This is also where you impress your interviewer by being genuine because the only person you’re really in competition with is yourself, so be the best YOU that you can be.
The simple act of smiling can reduce stress and depression plus people are treated differently when they are smiling. If you wear a smile you will be considered more attractive, more reliable and more sincere. Even on a phone interview, people can hear a smile and you want that person to see and feel you as a team player with a great attitude.
Learn about the Company
Get to know the company you’re interviewing with, and I’m not talking about 4th Quarter earnings, corporate benefits, or what the CEO said in an interview with Letterman. Get to know the values and culture of the company… completely immerse yourself into the company and see if you can relate to it. If so, let that drive enthusiasm during your interview. Being able to speak about the origin, values, and mission of an organization will show them you did your homework and are willing to put in the extra effort to do your job well.
You should know that I’m not a career counselor, but I have been an employee since I was 14 years old. I got my first job as an apprentice mechanic at a bicycle shop in a small town. I’ve been on a lot of job interviews throughout my life and I’ve found that if I can get in front of someone in an interview, I usually get the job. My secret is simple, I always try to just be myself and show that I have something valuable to offer to the company.
I also take inventory in the value I will receive from working for the company. I watch the people coming and going and assess how happy or dissatisfied they seem as a whole. I try to gauge the sincerity of the interviewer. There are times when you may just need a job, and that’s okay but you should always strive to take pride in the work you do and always remember that you have value.