Politics and Business
Interview Tips People Don’t Talk About (And a Few Classic Tips)
Happy 2015! For many of us, with the New Year comes the hope of new job prospects. While you’ve likely heard of interview tips like “have confidence,” “highlight your qualifications,” and “provide references,” mastering a good interview largely involves mental preparation:
- Practice “high-power” poses before an interview (see 13:31 in video). According to TED speaker Amy Cuddy, people that practiced high-power poses for two minutes experienced an increase in testosterone and a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. In other words, our non-verbals govern the way we think and feel about ourselves. If you want to gain power (in this instance, through obtaining a job), be powerful in your body language. Cuddy says we can configure our brains to cope with stressful situations, and gain favorable outcomes.
- Talk aspirations. While you’re at it, speak words of positive affirmation to yourself. Any words that provide real, personal encouragement and motivation will do. It may help to pick out a few quotes from a site like com. Whisper them to yourself. Write them on post-its and then tack them to your mirror. Place them inside your wallet or make it the background of your phone where you will see it in the days prior to the interview. Whatever your method, just make sure the words are ones that resonate with you.
- Don’t just answer the interviewers’ questions to the best of your ability. Any candidate can come up with a thorough, thoughtful response. A rookie mistake is reflecting your responses off the interviewer’s reactions, molding your answers to accommodate what you think they want to hear. Sell yourself. Don’t leave your audience with the short end of the stick—show your interviewer who you are and what you hope to achieve on your career path.
- If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. Google Maps directions to the interview site, leave ample time to park and/or for traffic, accidents, and weather, and prepare for being asked to fill out an application before you meet with someone (this can take 15 minutes).
- Do your research. Know the names of who you are interviewing with and leave with their contact information. Look thoroughly into the company or organization and ask insightful questions. There’s no need to ask a question you could easily find the answer to, but asking interesting questions can show that you have a strong understanding of the position and that you have the ability to be not only an employee, but an asset.
- Follow up. Take a moment to send your interviewers an e-mail. Be brief but genuine, and send your message within 24 hours and at an appropriate hour (not 12 midnight). Showing appreciation and being timely speaks volumes about your professionalism.