This is not a job interview tip that involves teaching you how to psych out or please the interviewer. Some of those “tips” strike me as creating more anxiety than not. An article showed up in my feed once that discussed how whether you cross your legs, lean back in your chair or fold your arms will make or break the success of your job interview.
As though you needed advice to make you even more nervous….
I’m sorry; this is nonsense. How many of us have not received job offers because we crossed our legs or folded our arms? (I’d have been chronically unemployed if that were the case!). It’s great to project confidence, but obsessing over how you fold your limbs (or not) strikes me as counter-productive.
Here’s what I recommend instead: have fun.
“Have fun?” I can hear the gasps of disbelief. “What’s enjoyable about a job interview? It’s one of the most stressful situations in one’s life!” But it doesn’t need to be.
I’m going to skip a long discussion about how to prepare for job interviews because I (and others) have covered this in great detail. Let’s assume you are prepared and ready to go, but would love to quell the pit in your stomach and the quaver in your voice.
Stop thinking of the interview as a test – or as being judged. Okay, you are, but don’t think of it that way. Instead, approach your interview as a way to get to know the person sitting across the table from you, to learn more about a company you’ve been considering, and most important, to discover if this job opening is right for you.
Yes, that’s what I said – you’re considering the company to see if the job is right for you, NOT simply letting the company considering you to see if you’re right for them. The point is that the vetting process works both ways, but most job candidates adopt a supplicant’s demeanor and humbly wait in the hope of acceptance.
Turn your interview into a conversation. Don’t let the person interviewing you dominate, leading the interview with his or her questions. All that advice you’ve read about how to deal with tricky or silly questions becomes less relevant when you’re able to deflect them by controlling the narrative. Sure, you’re going to answer their questions – but not only do you have a few of your own, you want to steer the questions back to where you want it: your strengths, your knowledge of the company, and your interest in how well those strengths will help the company achieve its strategic goals.
The key is to relax and enjoy the conversation. Not only does taking control of the interview change the dynamic, but it also forges a more human bond between two potential colleagues – a far better dynamic than the tension between the Holder of the Prize and the Supplicant Who Wants it Badly.
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