If you dread interviewing for a new job, you are not alone. Interviews may seem like just another annoying and stressful part of conducting a job search, depending on how you think about them. Can you actually turn them into a fun experience?
Yes. And here is how.
Be fully prepared
It’s good common sense to prepare for interviews, but it’s not about just knowing as much as you can to impress your interviewer and strategize how to position yourself for the role and fit with the company. It’s also a way to have done your homework so that you can relax during the meeting time and have an easy, informed conversation. The more relaxed you are, the better impression you will make.
The majority of interview prep time shouldn’t be spent on determining what you will wear. Your interview attire should already be selected and ready to go if you are in the market for a new job. Don’t over prepare, but spend enough time to understand the business and its products/services, its position in the market, the job requirements, and your strengths and qualifications that match up.
Not to be redundant since this was already mentioned, but being relaxed (but not too much so that you slump in your chair and put your feet on the desk) really helps you focus more on the interviewer, the questions and how to respond, rather than on yourself. Your interviewer will be more at ease too.
Not everyone likes meeting new people, but if you can see the interview as another networking opportunity and chance to get to know the interviewer and the company better, it can be fun. The conversation will flow more smoothly, and you will get a better feel for the company and whether you really want to work there.
Interview like your life is not on the line
No matter how badly you need the job don’t interview like it’s the last opportunity on earth. Desperation is not appealing. It will make you try too hard and prevent you from being your best self. And being desperate is not fun. Hello, sweaty palms, underarm stains and perspiration on your upper lip!
Focus your attention on the interviewer
You don’t have to read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” to know that people appreciate it when you listen attentively, show respect and act with sincere kindness. It’s just good etiquette. Apply it in every interview. Making people feel more appreciated and comfortable will make you more comfortable as well. Leave your ego at the door. You’ll have plenty to say about yourself when asked. Do it humbly.
See every interaction as a gift and opportunity to learn and grow. When you look for the good in all circumstances, your attitude shifts and so does the perception people have of you.
Do the pre-interview work. Show up, and have fun. Be the person you would want to work with.