I love job interviews. Probably a sentence you don’t hear very often, right?
As I’ve moved through my career, job interviews have become less of an anxiety-inducing rollercoaster ride, and more of a welcome challenge–a way for me to present myself and my experiences in the best way possible.
Job interviews are all about discussing your past work and your ability to handle the tasks the position requires. Another important function of the job interview is to gauge your personality and how well you will work alongside current employees, so first impressions are huge at this stage in the hiring process. But don’t fret! You’ve got this in the bag! Here are a few ways to survive and thrive in your upcoming job interview:
1. Practice Visualization
Before every cross country and track race I ran, I meditated just how the race would go. I visualized myself at the starting line, the way the grass or the rubber felt beneath my feet, the sun or the breeze on my skin. I would take in each turn and obstacle, seeing my feet conquer each move and mile. All of my most successful races began with visualization, and so have my best job interviews.
Try this: visualize yourself walking into the building. You may not have a clear picture of what the lobby looks like, but general lobby imagery will do here. Picture yourself shaking your interviewer’s hand and greeting them calmly, yet strongly (again, you may not know what they look like, so use any imagery you can muster up). See yourself sitting up straight in your chair, showing intrigue and active listening. Visualize yourself answering each question with ease, feel yourself flowing through the answers with confidence. Conclude your visualization with some empowering thoughts, and treat yourself to some self-care. Feeling good inside and out will ensure you walk into that interview with confidence!
If meditation isn’t your strong suit, try an app like Digipill. They offer a “Perfect Pitch” meditation that helps you to focus on getting through important meetings–perfect for the night before your job interview!
2. Know That You are In Control
The beauty of job interviews: you have the ability to present yourself exactly way you want to be seen. First impressions can evoke feelings of pressure and anxiety, but this is where perspective is king! You may be the interviewee, but you actually hold a lot of power in the conversation.
Do your research on your interviewer. Look them up on LinkedIn, Google them… you want to know just as much about their work history as they do about yours. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions, such as, “What about the company culture here at (company name) has kept you here for (number of years worked)?” Not only are these personalized questions going to demonstrate your interest in the company, they also give you insight into the treatment of the company’s employees.
3. Refrain from Resume Repetition
Chances are, your interviewer has read your resume. That’s essentially the reason you’re in their office: they saw that you are qualified, and now want to meet you personally to see if you are a good fit. Your interviewer’s first question may be something along the lines of, “Tell me about yourself.”
This may be an easy question, but it can be answered in many different ways. You can:
a. go the cerebral route & say something vague and mysterious
b. reiterate everything on your resume robotically and without passion
c. answer with a mix of personal and professional details: “I graduated in 2014 with a BA in English. I love writing, am really into hiking, and crochet tiny hats for tiny cats in my spare time.”
“C” is obviously your best choice (maybe sans the “tiny hats” detail… but if your interviewer is a cat-lover, why not!). Your interviewer already knows your work history–give them a bit about your personal history as well. Don’t overshare, though; no interviewer wants to know about your drama with your ex or your friend’s surprise wedding shower. Share personal details that tie in with the job itself.
Job interviews may not seem like the most fun, but you can make them enjoyable experiences by preparing mentally, recognizing your own power, and simply being yourself. You’ve got this!