Interviewing Esteem | Counseling | Therapy

Interviewing Esteem

Alex Robboy , CAS, MSW, ACSW, LCSW — Founder & executive director

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INTERVIEWING ESTEEM: Overcoming Nervousness and Making A Great First Impression

Your palms are warm and clammy. Your throat feels like it’s stuffed with cotton. You have the arm of your chair in a death-grip, and you can’t stop bouncing your knee. Across from you, sitting behind a desk, is the one person between you and the job you’ve always wanted – your interviewer.

Does this sound like you? Do you get tense during interviews, before interviews, or even just thinking about them? Does the interview process make you so nervous that you have difficulty communicating, and worry you will make a poor first impression? Well, you’re not alone. Many people feel intimidated, nervous, or even a little panicked by the entire interview scenario, and it’s understandable. People tend to think of the interview as a test, an elimination round where interviewers are hunting for any sign of weakness, any excuse to get rid of people. This is a daunting idea, and people from all walks of life worry they will fall apart when they have to go through this ordeal.

Yes, an interview will probably always be a little bit intense – but that doesn’t mean it has to be something to get stressed out or worked up over. Most of the worry people have over interviews comes from two sources. The first is that they don’t really understand the interview process, and the reasons for holding interviews in the first place. The second is that they feel uncertain and unprepared. They aren’t really sure what to do and how to act during the interview process, and they worry that they will misspeak, behave inappropriately, or make some other mistake. However, you don’t have to have these feelings. With a little knowledge and a few self-help guides, you can approach your interview with calm and confidence.

TIPS AND TRICKS: Interviewing esteem

Listed below are eight helpful hints to preparing for and performing during your interview. They can help you alleviate your fears, keep your emotions under control, learn how to approach your interviewer, and know how to conduct yourself during the process. Interviews are situations you should prepare for, or even practice for, but by using this tips you can keep them as stress-free as possible.

Understand the Interview: Interviewing esteem
Despite what many people feel, the interview is not just an opportunity for someone to find your flaws! For the most part, interviewers aren’t looking for negative elements about you are your resume, and they aren’t there to criticize you. An interviewer’s job is simply to evaluate if you will be a good fit with a company. And the process itself is not so they can dig for problems, but an opportunity for you to share your skills, personality, and experience with an interviewer. If you are turned down after an interview, it isn’t because the interviewer didn’t like you – it’s just that, for whatever reason, you aren’t quite what the company was looking for in that position. But remember, and interview is not just an opportunity for the company to learn about you, but for you to learn about the company. It is very possible that you may decide the company or position is not what you are looking for, so ask questions. And remember: an interviewer is not someone who wants to eliminate you, and an interview should not be viewed as an obstacle.

Do Your Research: Interviewing esteem
The best way to prepare yourself for an interview is to arm yourself with knowledge. If you get an interview, you should find out whatever you can about the company and the specific position before the day of the interview arrives. What does the company do? Who are its consumers? How is their business organized? What do you know about the position you are interviewing for? Questions like these serve three purposes. First, you will know something about what the company values and looks for, and you will be able to highlight your relevant skills or experience. Second, you can show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework, which shows that you take initiative and are interested in the company. Third, it can help you brainstorm what questions you might have for the interviewer.

Be Prepared: Interviewing esteem
Being prepared for whatever the situation may bring will help you feel ready to face your interview, so bring the right materials. You should have multiple copies of your resume, and if they are relevant, samples of your work. If you are working in a filed that requires a special license, such as teaching or selling insurance, you should bring copies of those as well. Always have a notebook, planner, or something to write on, and something to write with. You should also be prepared mentally: know what questions you would like to ask, and what about yourself and your qualifications you would like to highlight.

Visualize Success: Interviewing esteem
Using positive thinking techniques can really help you to approach your interview with confidence. While you are waiting for your interview to begin, visualize your success. Picture yourself walking into the office with confidence. Picture presenting yourself smoothly, highlighting your strong points. Picture the entire interview going well and you handling the situation with calm and confidence. Hold these images in your mind as you approach your interview. By picturing the process going well instead of worrying about all the things that might go wrong, you will stay relaxed and be more likely to succeed, and picturing success will keep you self-assured. Just remember that you can do this.

Calm Your Thoughts: Interviewing esteem
Don’t let your emotions run wild pre-interview! This will get you all worked up and nervous, and make it more difficult to think clearly. Control your thoughts. Don’t fight them; this will only make you more emotional. Instead, look at them logically. Accept your fears and worries. Acknowledge them. Then, gently put them aside, and remember that now is not the time to think about them. You have prepared as best you can, and all you can do at the moment is remain calm so you can present yourself in the best possible light. When you feel your thoughts start to spiral out of control, take a deep breath, step back from them, and remind yourself that you are in control.

The Interviewer Is Not An Enemy: Interviewing esteem
Remember that the interviewer is not an opponent you have to defeat in order to get a job. He really is just there to determine how well you and the company will fit together. Don’t be afraid of him, and don’t approach him with a challenging attitude – he is just a normal person like you. Treat him like one. Engage in dialogue instead of making him just ask you questions, and show interest in what he has to say. If you treat him like a person instead of an obstacle, he is much more likely to treat you the same way.

Know Your Body Language: Interviewing esteem
Body language is one of the most important things that employers watch for during an interview, so know what yours is saying. Going into the interview, begin with a firm handshake. Make eye contact. Be relaxed when you sit, but don’t slouch. Avoid tapping your toe, bobbing your knee, or otherwise fidgeting. Turn your shoulders so they directly face your interviewer, and use non-verbal cues like nodding in response to things he says. These actions not only say that you are confident and in control of yourself, but that you are attentive and interested in what he has to say. In a practice interview, try video taping yourself and then watch it. Simply seeing yourself is often enough feedback to help you see where you could hone your style.

Be Professional: Interviewing esteem
Being unprofessional is one of the easiest ways to be weeded out of a field of potential candidates. It is actually easy to avoid – just be polite and respectful to your interviewer, the company, and the situation. Don’t show up to the interview in jeans; this shows that you don’t really care about the job. Don’t wear headphones or chew gum, and turn your cellphone off, because these things show a lack of attentiveness to your interviewer. Don’t use slang or swear words – this is professional situation that calls for professional language, so don’t say “yeah” when you can say “yes.” Give your interviewer respect, and he or she will give the same to you. And, even if you do not want the job. Be gracious and thankful. You never know when you might run into the person again.

READY TO GO: Interviewing esteem

The interview process will always have a little bit of a competitive edge, and no matter how calm you are you will probably always be a little bit nervous. But remember that you don’t have to let that nervousness overwhelm you. By using the tips above you can know what to expect, be prepared to the best of your abilities, and go in knowing the do’s and don’ts of interview behavior. Other than that, just get a good night’s sleep beforehand, eat a good breakfast, and just do your best – if you are right for the job, your best will always be good enough.

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