By Stephanie Clark
In my experience as a career practitioner, I know that too few people actually think about their interviewing weak points. Too many ascribe interview failures to an act of fate (wasn’t meant to be), or abject apathy (oh well), than consider that maybe, just maybe, the fault lies in their court. And while accepting that not all jobs, and hence not all interviews, are good matches, what if you lost a truly plum job, a dream job, because you chose to ignore your interviewing weakness? Is ignorance of interview tactics and strategies worth that price?
Common sense suggests that it is best to take heed and address the aspect of the interview that you’d rather hide from. For some, this is a case of nerves that leaves one’s hands sweaty, for others it’s a case of rambling on and on, well aware that the interviewer’s eyes are glazing over in complete boredom; in reality there are likely as many possibilities as people. Take heart as there are strategies and remedies for all. A bit of research is in order, or perhaps a one-hour appointment with an effective career practitioner. Here are a few of the common areas of concern.
1. If nerves are your issue, eat a banana, do some deep breathing, or get thee to a health food store for an herbal remedy! Other ideas include simply practicing and being prepared; this will alleviate many cases of the jitters. (Why bananas, you ask? They contain potassium, which helps calm the nerves.)
2. Perhaps you are a rambler. On and on you drone, and more and more you lose your audience’s attention! Again, of course there are remedies. Consider joining a local speaker’s club, such as Toastmasters, to learn the tricks and tactics to keeping your message succinct while captivating your audience. Visit your local library to review a book on presenting. Or hire an interview coach to provide you with insight into what it is that the interview team would most enjoy hearing about, and how to phrase your reply for maximum impact.
3. Maybe you’re just afraid of not knowing the answer to one, unanticipated question? Strategy is what you need. You can never know exactly what you will be asked, and thus strategy is key to quickly developing answers to any of the hundreds of possible questions. Here’s another idea: just admit to your interviewers that you can’t come up with anything at the moment, promise to get back to them, and use that as an ideal add-on to the content of your “thank you” email! The possibilities are, of course, endless.
But whether you fear a grumbly tummy, being late, or not making a connection, there are solutions to all. Some are easy, and I leave you to solve them with a bit of research. But if you require the insight of a career professional, I invite you to connect with a respected career professional, such as the many experts here on Career Thought Leaders. Your dream job may hinge on action - don’t sit idle!