Consider for a moment that we just told you about an upcoming interview at a firm or company you really want to work for. You’ve even been waiting to hear back from them. Like most people, you probably feel some nerves about the interview. Just thinking about it can make confident professionals anxious. However, now is not the time to be anxious. Now is the time to stop and take a moment for yourself.
- Yes, interviews are an opportunity for employers to meet you face-to-face;
- Yes, the research and preparation will be done;
- Yes, you will know who will be interviewing you, before you even sit down; and
- Yes, your shirt will be fine, and so will your shoes.
Now, the above points are important, but one aspect of interviews that even the smartest people sometimes forget is this: “When the interview starts, take a moment to gauge the interviewer, and for the first few seconds or minutes, follow their lead.”
What do I mean by this?
- Is the interviewer very upbeat? Try not to be a downer;
- Is the setting all-business? Try not to joke around too much; and
- Are they relaxed? Then try not to be too stiff.
You probably already know that this information is reserved for the early stages of the interview. Once you have established some level of rapport with the interviewer, you can let yourself shine through. Don’t spend the interview trying to be like them. Ultimately, you want to be yourself, because you will come across as genuine, and most likely someone that they can imagine working down the hall.