By Joe Stein
I hope that the title for this weeks’ article did not cause anyone to faint in disbelief. For many Job Seekers, the thought of actually enjoying your interview is probably sacrilegious. I can imagine people thinking that interviews are a time for stress and fear not enjoyment.
You can, in the right situation, however, enjoy the interview you are in. This week we will take a look at what you can do to increase your chances of having a real positive interview experience.
The following are 5 tips that you can do to help you enjoy your interview:
· Preparation – One of the best ways to increase your chances of enjoying your interview is to be prepared. Preparation reduces stress which should improve your odds of enjoyment. Study your Resume and make sure you know, completely, every line on the document and why you wrote it. Practice interviewing by doing mock sessions with a friend or family member. Research the company that you are interviewing with and know as much about the open position as possible. All of this hard work, done prior to the interview, will prove to be a relief when actually interviewing with your prospective employer.
· Personal Connection – Try to, early in the interview, make some type of personal connection with the Interviewer. The ease of being able to do this will certainly vary depending on the personality of the Interviewer. You can attempt to do this during the usual “small talk” at the start of the interview. During this portion, try to really make a connection with whatever is being brought up, whether it is weather, sports, etc. The preparation that you did prior to the interview, will help alleviate the early jitters and allow you to fully engage in this type of “small talk”.
· Be Curious – I typically enjoy interviewing and being interviewed, because I am naturally curious. I like learning new information and an interview is typically a great way to do this. This is especially true if you are talking to a company or with an industry that you do not otherwise know much about (although there is always something you can gain from an interview). By having this type of mindset, the entire process (from gathering research during your preparation work to the actual interview) should be much more enjoyable. If given a tour, this can also be a tremendous time to learn, especially if it is an environment (such as in manufacturing) that you may not be familiar with.
· Ask Questions – If you have done your homework and have a genuine interest in the position, then it should be much easier to ask questions. Asking questions and receiving the subsequent answer should create a dialogue that will further enhance the conversation. A key is to ask questions that will interest you, and also create a spark with the Interviewer. How you ask it will also be important; do it in a conversational or relaxed manner. You do not want the Interview to become defensive during your question period. A positive Q&A conclusion to the interview will allow you to close the session on an upbeat note, further improving your perception of the interview being an enjoyable experience.
· Passive v. Active – It is generally much easier to enjoy your interview if you are a passive Job Seeker. In an active job seeking mode, you really need this new job (often due to unemployment). It is much more difficult to relax and create a conversation when you are in a more stressful, active job seeking situation. I think that often Interviewers have a different mindset when dealing with a passive job seeker. Since they know that the candidate is already employed, I think Interviewers work harder to create a more conversational type of discussion. The moral of this section is that if it is possible, there are numerous advantages to seeking a job when you are already currently employed.
As a Job Seeker, you can actually enjoy the discussion held in an interview. While the person conducting the Interview will certainly play an important role in this happening, you mainly control your experience during the interview. By following the 5 tips above, you may just find yourself enjoying the next interview. Ultimately, your improved interview experience may just lead to the most enjoyable interview…one that leads to a brand new job!
As always, best of luck in your job search!