Interviewing… Sigh… I think everyone hates it, and before you answer and say “no I really enjoy being interviewed” let’s be honest; do you really? Sitting across from someone, having them judge your every answer, and having them be that one step between you and that “perfect job” can be very nerve-wracking!
Some of us handle interviews very well, while others fail miserably, even though you might have the perfect skill set.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it is that you have to be able to master your interviewing skills because life is full of interviews. A friend of mine is currently in Medical school, and when I asked what the most nerve-wracking part of getting into med school was, he didn’t say the exams, he didn’t say trying to maintain a certain GPA, what he did say actually surprised me… He said the interview was the most nerve-wracking part. He explained to me that everyone applying for med school has similar test scores, similar GPAs, sometimes even similar essays. The deciding factor, at the end of the day, is the interview. I relate this very much to job seekers applying for work.
Let’s back up so I can introduce you to who I am and what I do. I can sum it up in one sentence: “My name is Yoana and I’m a full-time recruiter.”
What does that mean? Essentially I hire for various clients and go through resumes and interviews on a daily basis. The bulk of my job is literally looking at resumes and interviewing job seekers. Which doesn’t sound that exciting, however, I enjoy it very much! I get to interact and meet new people every day. I meet people from all various walks of life and do many, many (did I mention) many interviews! I also remember what it was like being in that interview chair, and I remember what it was like thinking: “I would be PERFECT for this job, I just need THIS person to see that”.
I try to always put that thought into consideration when I interview someone and try to be as friendly as possible because it can be a very stressful situation. Seeing as the majority of my job is interviewing individuals, I have some advice to make YOU are an interviewing whiz!
- Interviewing for a job can be stressful, but you know what makes it less stressful? Being prepared! How do you prepare? Do your research! If you know you’re interviewing for a specific company, why wouldn’t you check out their website? Go on their social media pages, see where they have the job posted so you can find other details, or even look at the history of the company. The more you know, the more impressed a company will be with you because it shows you took the time to do your due diligence. Along with researching the company, I would say research various job postings with the same title, that way you get a broader idea of what your job might entail.
- My next bit of advice is to be sure to listen to the interviewer, take your time, and breathe! I find a lot of job seekers, when asked questions, will rush their answer and do not take the time to actually consider the question. Remember YOUR answer might be the difference in getting the job or not, so it’s okay to breathe, collect your thoughts and answer questions as eloquently as you can. As an interviewer, it shows me you care about your answers and want to take the time to find the most appropriate responses.
- In addition to taking your time, be sure to show me your personality and to sell yourself! I know how cliché this sounds, but it’s so true. If I’m interviewing for a specific role, many people will have similar skill sets, maybe even similar education, certificates or licenses. What will set you apart is your personality and how well you can connect to the person interviewing you.
- The last thing I’d like to help you with is how to calm those nerves. Remember: you’re not the only one being interviewed! The person in the chair across from you asking questions is also being interviewed. It’s a two-way street. I’ve always thought of interviewing like a conversation you would have with someone on the first date. You’re both feeling each other out, finding if it’s the right fit. I’m often thinking to myself:
“I am the representation of the company so it’s important I present myself in the best light possible.” At the end of the day, think of an interview as a conversation, and it will help you get over those nerves.
So think about all these factors when you’re interviewing. Does the company have the right culture? Is the pay right? How are the hours? Can you see yourself doing this job day in and day out? Will you enjoy it? Are there benefits? What are the advancement opportunities? With that in mind and my soundproof advice, you’ll start nailing those interviews in no time!