Interview Techniques That Work – Part Two
In our previous blog, we showed you some interview techniques that will help you ace your interview. Here are some more that will hopefully get you over the line.
It is completely natural in the days and hours leading up to the interview that you will pour over your resume trying to find precisely, which elements appealed to your interview panel. It is inevitable that as you do so will become more and more self-critical. If you discover that you feel mostly negative about your resume, you should understand that this is a perfectly natural response – it’s a normal way for us to anticipate criticism and respond to it and improve or explain away those areas that appear ‘weak’. The problem you will find is that it is easy to get carried away with these negative thoughts, even to the point that they begin to affect your self-esteem. And by judging yourself too harshly, you can distort your own self-perception to the point that is unreasonable. After all, it is your resume that got you the interview in the first place, so it has to be a positive affirmation of your qualities.
So, how do you stop being unduly judgmental and walk into the interview with a realistic perception of yourself? The answer is simple – you just need to be aware of when you are judging yourself and remind yourself that it is perfectly acceptable to have weak spots. In psychological terms, this is known as ‘cognitive restructuring’, and it can be harder in practice than in theory.
There are many exercises you can do to create a less distorted state of mind about yourself, but here’s one to try before your next interview that works for a lot of people – re-read your resume from the perspective of your interviewer. When you find yourself having negative or judgmental thoughts, take note of them, remind yourself that it is OK, and continue on. After a few read-throughs, you may find that you have dissipated some of the emotional charge stored within these judgments—and that will do wonders for your confidence. As we said in the last blog – the interviewer or interview is on your side, it’s in everyone’s interest that they have found the right person for the job and that you are drawn to the company and its ethos. They are searching for a win-win.
Another issue we hear of from clients in an interview situation is freezing up under pressure. If you do not know the answer to a question or you feel yourself losing your nerve a little, take a deep breath and confidently ask calmly if you can get back to the question later. Avoid rambling on and on and do not let any panic show. It is far better if you build up your confidence with some other, easier, questions and then return to this tougher one later. A word of warning though – do not rely on this tactic too much and only skip questions if absolutely necessary; asking to skip a question too many times will make you seem unprepared.
So far, we have given advice on what to do, but there are some things you should definitely not do in an interview situation. Do not be late, rude or talk negatively about your former bosses or colleagues. Lying, oversharing, making inappropriate jokes or dominating the conversation are other ways you are going to make a bad impression. Eating a KFC right before the interview might kill your chances of landing the job as well. If you show up on time, look presentable and come across as nice and sociable, you are pretty much guaranteed to get off to a good start.
And finally, last but definitely not least, always follow up with an email thanking your interviewer for the opportunity. It is a good chance to quickly mention, once again, why you are a good fit and how great it was to meet everyone. Keep it short, sweet and friendly, and remember to send it within 24 hours of your interview.
You will still need to do all the necessary steps to prepare before your meeting, but these interview techniques should help put your nerves at ease. Try one – or all – and get ready to confidently rock that interview!