People who interview well seem to do so effortlessly. While the rest of us waste time studying single-use, canned answers we’ll probably never use in the actual interview, these lucky few come in and rattle off brilliant responses without any preparation at all.
Prospective employers can present these breezy interviewees with surprise panel interviews, hairy logic problems, or uncomfortable salary questions and they’ll handle each thoughtfully, without panicking. Now, most of us aren’t like that, but we can learn a few things from those that are.
One distinguishable difference between these candidates and the rest of us is that they come into an interview without expectations of how it will be conducted. They go with an aim to learn and discuss if they’d be a good fit for the organization, not to prove that they will be. So, instead of pouring over a laundry list of stay-cool tips the days and night before your interview, check out the latest video from OnlineMBA to learn three easy-to-remember tricks to both appear and actually be more relaxed during your interview.
The video’s suggestions are simple. For instance, don’t bring a bag, beverage or an overcoat with you into the interview. Leave these things in the car. You’ll feel less like a cumbersome outsider with just a clipboard and a pen. And you’ll be grateful that you don’t have to pack up camp and awkwardly follow your interviewer to another office if he or she asks you to.
For those of us who are shaken up by changes in the pace, style or direction of an interview, simple barometers like remembering to mirror the excitement or volume level of the interviewer could be life-saving. Don’t high five unless you are high fived. Don’t laugh out loud unless they are laughing out loud. And remember, don’t over think your behavior beforehand–interviewers are paid to spot studied airs and canned responses.
Empty Your Pockets
Don’t bring a big purse, bulky bag, or to-go coffee with you into the interview. Instead, be minimalistic, with just a pen and notepad and leave your cell phone in the car. Also, don’t take the interviewer up on their refreshment – they’re just being polite and you don’t want the distraction.
Put up the Mirror
Throughout the interview, mirror the interviewees body language – not verbatim, but rather in general. If they lean forward and laugh loudly, feel comfortable doing the same, if they seem a bit reserved, don’t make them uncomfortable by offering up a high five.
It’s not your responsibility to tell your interviewer how much you made at your last job. And doing so can cost you. If they ask, tell them "I'm sure we can discuss salary when the time is right, but for now I just want to see if there's a mutual fit for you and me."