May 2, 2016
Next to waking up at 5am and arguing with people on the internet, looking for a new job is the most unpleasant experience you can endure. You spends hours, days, or even weeks creating the perfect résumé, drafting the perfect cover letter and studying the company mission like your life depends on it, all to receive no word back about an interview from anyone.
But if you were lucky enough to get the interview, the last thing you want to do is blow it. So keep your chin up, give a firm handshake and avoid these common mis-steps when your interview day finally comes.
Yes, this is the only interview you have gotten in the last few months. Yes, you need to pay rent and your current job is yielding you a little less than minimum wage on a good day. But interviewers can smell desperation a mile away. And if you really want to impress your new employer, the last thing you want to do is act like they are the only ones willing to see you, let alone hire you.
While interviews are often no longer than an hour, it is the interviewer’s job to judge your book by its cover. Being confident can go a long way in separating you from your competition, particularly in a high-pressure situation like a job interview. Remain interested and engaged while staying calm during the process. Keeping your cool is essential; remember they called you, not the other way around.
Let’s be honest; a job interview is the one place where being nervous is understandable. A good job interview can literally change the trajectory of your entire life. But if an interviewer sees that you are jittery in the first meeting, it will be an immediate turn off.
The key to keeping your nerves at bay is as simple as breathing. Deep breaths will slow your heart rate and prevent you from making classic interview mistakes, like interrupting, spacing out or staring at their face for way too long. Being passionate about a company is one thing that company’s love, but a calm demeanor in the face of stress is significantly more impressive.
Just because you got an interview, doesn’t mean you’ve got the job. The interview process is where companies weed out the bad culture fits, the aggressive brown-nosers and the selfish blowhards. If you are looking to impress an interviewer during the first meeting, you need to remember that they don’t need you. You have to make them want you.
This can be avoided by keeping demands to a minimum. Don’t start off your relationship with a potential new employer by explaining you need a week off in July to go on a family hunting trip. Not only does that show a lack of commitment to a company you don’t even work at, it is also far too much information for an interviewer to hear. Stay on task during the first interview by focusing on how you’re a great culture fit, how driven you are and how much you would love to work for them.
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