You are sitting in a waiting room, surrounded by others wearing the exact same clothes as you, their faces blurred and featureless. The receptionist sits behind her desk, typing away at her computer, her lips curved in an unsettling smile.
Every few minutes, the door behind her opens and you hear a muffled call. One of the featureless-faced individuals stands and goes back into the doorway. None of them ever come out.
Finally, you hear a muffled call, but know it’s your name. You stand and walk through the doorway. Before you is a well-furnished office and a man with a cruel grimace, his hands folded neatly on the desk. He welcomes you and offers you a seat.
“Tell me about yourself.” He commands, “Impress me, and you just might have a future.”
Okay, so maybe going to an interview like the one above is something more out of a horror movie or a scary story. However, the same kinds of feelings of anxiety and stress going into an interview exist in real life and often has qualified applicants wracked with terror. I have personally had dreams like the story above just before going into an interview the next day.
That said, here are some tips for your next interview:
1. What they really want to know
When we get right down to it, the big scary HR manager wants to know a few things when it comes to the interview:
- Can you do the job?
- Will you fit in with the company?
- Do you have any issues?
- Can I get you at the right price?
All of these are important factors with the job you are going for. Granted, some of those questions can be answered in the cover letter and the resume, but this is where they go into the gritty details. They will ask detailed questions about your work history on your resume, so be prepared with some examples. Meeting you in person is a great way for them to assess whether or not they feel you are going to be a good fit for the company. They also want to know why you left your last jobs. Do you blame the boss? Do you get easily frustrated? There are other things they look for in terms of issues, but those are probably the biggest ones.
2. Be yourself
This is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to the interview. Honesty is the best policy here. If you are pretending to be outgoing when you really aren’t, it will come across as fake and dishonest in the interview.
They want to know the real you when you get into the interview. Pretending to be someone you are not will almost always end badly.
3. Different interview styles
Different interviewers have different ways of interviewing candidates. Some are super nice, others might even seem skeptical about everything you are saying. Each one has their reasons for doing this, whether consciously or subconsciously. Your survival tactic? Remember to be on your guard. Don’t be suckered in by a pleasant smile or feel defeated because the interviewer is seeming to not pay attention. Check out this post for ways to keep yourself on the right track when it comes to the most common styles of interviewing: https://personaltouchcareerservices.com/handling-different-interviewer-styles
This is perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself. Prepare some questions for the interviewer about the company, the challenges of the job or even how long the position has been open. Having these kinds of questions at the ready when they ask “Do you have any questions for me?” sets you apart from other candidates because it shows you know about the company itself.
Also preparing answers to the more common interview questions out there is extremely helpful. For more advice on that, check out this article: https://personaltouchcareerservices.com/how-to-prepare-for-a-job-interview