Let’s face it, finding a new career path is scary. With all due respect to Count Dracula, Mr. Wolfman and the other spooky creatures out there, the job search packs in more frightening moments than all of them combined. Thankfully, just like these ghouls from childhood memory, the fear we’ve built up around looking for a new job is nothing more than a product of our imagination. That’s why we’re dedicating this week to facing that fear, job seekers, by giving you the tricks (and treats) you’ll need to be successful.
Part 2: The Interview from the Black Lagoon
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It might just look like your average, everyday office door, but behind it lurks a twisted force of nature that has terrified mankind for ages. You try to remain calm, breathing deeply and doing your best to stay focused. But sweat starts to creep slowly down your brow as your nervous mind wanders, “Who will be behind that door? What will they want to know? Am I ready for what’s next?”
*Creak* The door slowly groans open, revealing what’s been hiding in the shadows…
“Welcome to your interview!”
Sure, your interviewer most likely won’t be a 50-foot-tall monster from another world, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t natural to be a bit scared before entering that room (or, as in my case, absolutely terrified.) It’s time to kick those nervous fears, job seekers! Here are some common interviewing fears, and ways to put them to rest once and for all:
Nightmare on Late Street
Nothing starts an interview off on the wrong foot quite like being late. The best way to protect yourself from a punctuality pitfall is to combine multiple, trusted alarms with a practice trip to the interviewing office. Especially if you’ve never visited the company site before, consider doing a practice commute to and from the office space. The test drive might just give you the extra piece of mind you need!
Looks aren’t everything, until you’re frantically ironing your best dress shirt with only minutes to spare! Do your future-self a favor and plan out your attire for the interview well in advance (bonus points for actually laying out your clothes the night before!) When in doubt, always err on the side of more conservative side of your available attire; better to be safe than scary!
28 Jobs Later
Depending on the position in question, you might need to be ready to present a lot of information to during your interview. Without knowing exactly what to expect, that might be a lot of details to keep straight – from dates to names to specific examples. It’s normal to worry about a mental hiccup happening in the middle of a complex response, but it’s important to plan ahead to avoid this types of errors.
Practicing potential questions with a friend is a great way to build your confidence prior to an interview. Remember, your potential employer wants to know about you, and you just happen to be the top expert in the world on that subject!
Ask and Receive
If at any point in the interview, you feel the fear taking over, don’t worry! Each and every job seeker walks into the interview room prepared with a secret weapon (even if they don’t know it yet); it’s stronger than garlic, more effective than a silver bullet and stops interview disasters dead in their tracks. Stumped?
The biggest myth about interviews is that the employer behind the table has all the power. This simply is not true. Take time in your interview to turn the tables a bit and present some well-researched, relevant questions during your session. There may be time allotted for your questions near the end, but a well-timed question can also be a life saver if you need time to collect your thoughts.
As you shut the door behind you, it’s hard to believe that you were so scared of a room with nothing more than a few chairs, some bottles of water and a kind recruiter with a few questions. In truth, the horrors we create in our mind are likely much scarier than anything an interviewer can throw at you.
Do you have any interviewing horror stories? Tell your story around the campfire below! And keep an eye out for the thrilling conclusion of our “Face the Fear” series this Friday!