This article touches on some of the ways you can make a good first impression and dazzle your prospective employer at an interview.
The first thing to be aware of is that often it’s not your lack of ability that leads you to defeat – it’s your nerves and mindset in how you approach the interview, so let’s look at some friendly advice on shifting your paradigm to tackle your tense state.
- Treat the interview as a place to “give” rather than a place to “get”; meaning you focus much more on what you can give them, rather than what you can get in return.
- Remember there are plenty more fish in the sea; meaning there’s no need to feel desperate.
- Treat the interviewers as friends. If you think back to when you took your driving test, one of the best pieces of advice driving instructors give their students is to take the heat out of the situation by viewing yourself on your driving test as a chauffeur or taxi driver… as this takes away the intensity of the situation and allows for a calmer and more relaxed approach. Treat the interview as a chance to connect and build a relationship; rather than a “you vs. me” scenario.
“You certainly need to know your stuff before heading into that interview room, but whatever you do, don’t over-prepare. You need to know your onions (so to speak) as well as having some knowledge about the company’s products, services, market position, opportunities, etc, but preparing answers for every possible question and memorising every fact will drive you crazy and make you ultra-nervous.” – Steve Errey
In many ways, getting the job or course you covet will be based on how strong a connection you develop with the interviewer and how relevant your skills and experience are to the job or course being offered.
Admittedly there are some programs such as TEFL courses that don’t involve such a competitive process, but in the most part when applying for a job or a course, interviews are a competitive process and you, therefore, need to stand out in a positive way.
The best way to do this is to build a strong connection in the form of rapport, but often people limit their opportunity to do this to two touchpoints; first when sending in their application and second when having an interview; both of which are formal processes with structured questions that don’t allow the natural ability to have a friendly and meaningful exchange between you and your prospective employer.
Meet Before the Interview
Arranging to meet before the interview is a great way to show that you are dedicated to this particular application, it offers a chance to connect with the employer in a more natural way than at an interview, it means you won’t feel so nervous at the interview itself, and will be greeted as a familiar face (which puts you ahead of most the applicants on this basis alone), but more than anything it gives you a chance to connect with your prospective employer – and that connection is everything, because at the end of the day, people buy people; meaning people like to do business with those they feel comfortable with and have great rapport with.
In summary, you are wanting to connect with the interviewer and establish a relationship – it’s all about building trust and rapport whilst positioning your skills and experience as being aligned with what they are seeking; but remember, there are plenty more fish in the sea and this isn’t the only job that could make you happy.