Coping with the interview

I was out with friends today and the subject of interviews came up.  Which led to us swapping stories of good and bad interviews and interview questions.

interviewWhen you’re the interviewee it’s naturally a nerve wracking process.  You know you’re being assessed, measured, judged – not just against the requirements of the role, but also against other people up for the same position.  You spend hours swotting up on the company, its results, your new department.  You highlight relevant bits of your CV, you read up on anything relevant in the media.  Its a bit like cramming for exams except you don’t necessarily know the questions.

All of this intense activity and thought is stressful.  And stress is not a great accompaniment on your interview journey.  It can make you nervous, sweaty, unable to construct a logical sentence together.

I’ve been in the position of interviewer and interviewee, many times.  As have the friends I was with.  We agreed that actually, as interviewer, we don’t have time to waste on candidates who won’t fit the bill.  So if you’ve been offered an interview, then it means we already think that on paper at least, you’re a contender.  What we’re really looking for in the interview is that you stack up in person to your paper version, that you’re a good fit for the rest of the team, that you’re someone we can work with, someone who wants to be there.

And in the same way, instead of seeing an interview as a test, maybe look at it as a conversation.  You’re scoping out your prospective new employers just as much as they’re scoping you out.  You have skills and attributes they want – the interview is just an exchange of ideas, a confirmation that you make a good fit for each other.  In fact, just scrap the word ‘interview’, replace it with ‘meeting’ and it’ll take away some of the stress instantly.  Go in to the meeting with an attitude of curiosity and notice how much more interesting, honest and easy it becomes.

Good luck!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.