Do the words “Job Interview” strike fear in you like they do me?

Do the words “Job Interview” strike fear in you like they do me? Does anyone ever really become SO comfortable with job interviewing that they don’t get even a little bit nervous? And if so, is that a good thing?

I Googled “job interview tips” and got over 125,000,000 hits in .38 seconds. Wow. Information overload or what? Or is this a symptom of what a hot topic this is, with opinions from everywhere – meaning there really is no right answer? Every interview is different; and every company is different. But the best way to succeed in that interview is to be prepared – both mentally and physically.

So, how to prepare? Research. Your first question should never be “so, what does xyz company do?” You should know that. Do you have to memorize all their statistics? Maybe. At least try to remember some of them. That doesn’t mean you’ll use them – and don’t throw them all out at once to prove that you’ve done your research. This isn’t a school test and the interviewer is not necessarily looking for every statistic on their website or in their press release that you’ve managed to memorize. But if it works comfortably into a conversation, it’s good to know. Is this a multi-national company? How many countries? How many offices? What’s their primary product or service?

Self-evaluate. Would you consider working outside the state or country if they have locations there? Is the product or service something you can relate to, or understand, and feel comfortable with? These are things not only to consider, but to consider working into the interview – “I understand you have offices in 13 different countries – does your leadership rotation program move employees throughout the world? I enjoy travel and would like to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures.”

What other research? Research the position title. Know something about the role, not just the company. Use LinkedIn to find others in your network (or 2nd degree connection) with the same or similar title and reach out to them. Get a feel for what the position is like – what’s the most challenging as well as the most rewarding part? Then use this information in your interview by highlighting things you’ve done that are similar or why the skills you have would match those job requirements.

Ok. So the interview’s here and you’ve done your research – congratulations! You are now mentally prepared, and ready to ace the interview. BUT, the interview is almost as much about your body language and the way you act as it is about what you say and what your resume says. Are you confident? You should be – you know your stuff! But does your body language show that? Do you have a firm handshake and are you poised to look the interviewer in the eye while speaking? Great. But also try psyching yourself up beforehand. As suggested in a TED Talk by social psychologist Amy Cuddy (http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are ), hold a “power position” for 2 minutes before the interview. Go to the restroom and raise your arms in victory, as if you’ve just won a race. Sit in a “power” (good posture, open) position while waiting in a waiting area. This will elevate good hormone levels and boost your confidence. So not only will you know your stuff, you’ll portray that with the interviewer.

Try it! And good luck!

 

Photo Credit: http://parade.condenast.com/343578/marilynvossavant/off-the-wall-job-interview-questions/           

By Lisa McGuire
Lisa McGuire Assistant Director for Corporate Partner Relations Lisa McGuire