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Interview Skills - Let's deal with the reality

We cannot second guess what your next interview will be like in any detail because it could be anything from an informal chat over coffee to a three day battery of aptitude and personality tests followed by a set of focused encounters with various people who all have different agendas.

Given this diversity of scenarios you have only one way to prepare that will really give you power when the time comes, which is to prepare yourself - your presence and who you are - and remain that person under stress.

Stress: don't go under the carpet

You might feel nervous meeting Bill Gates but not about meeting the guy who runs your local convenience store. The president of the XYZ Corp might be relaxed meeting you but feel nervous meeting Australian Prime Minister. Our ability to remain true to ourselves depends on factors like:

  • How familiar the situation is: which means that it pays to practice applying for jobs, even if you don't really want them all
  • How confident you are in your performance: What do you do well? What do people compliment you on?
  • how much is at stake: you're better off if you are not desperate for the job and if you have a good reputation so people start taking an interest in you

Practice gets you nearer to perfect

Two other articles to give you some detail are Interview Questions that might come up and Interview Tips on how to conduct yourself.

When you have read both of those you need to acquire interview experience by applying for jobs and by joining up with your friends to develop the ability to communicate under pressure. Get debriefed after each experience, keeping a careful note of what was less than perfect in your manner, your impact, your ease with the situation, the quality of your replies, the impact of your questions and the thoroughness of your knowledge.

Well prepared is well performed

The articles on Resume Writing and Resume Cover Letters open up an innovative strategy in terms of what information to present to recruiters. This strategy is all about developing a "script" whereby you begin to control the information flow. You begin to lead to what questions they ask you and find yourself extremely well prepared in those areas in terms of information, buzzwords, anecdotes, examples from your own career, facts, questions and industry comparisons.

You know your stuff. You appreciate your own value. You speak with authority in a calm voice. People listen to what you say and they nod and make eye contact that proves it. When you ask a question they take it seriously...

Phoney confidence makes people squirm but real and genuine personal presence is something we can all work on. The more you know yourself the more you know how to be yourself whatever comes up in life.