11 Feb 2019
Do you want to know how nutty the world is? The truth is that a job interview may be the most important step in the hiring process, and the truth is that it may also be the least important step in the hiring process. Take a lady working in an HR department who has had trouble filling a position all week because of bad candidates, and then your average/okay resume drops on her desk. It has been a long week, and her boss is pressuring her for a new recruit, so your interview is merely a formality because you already had the job the second your CV dropped onto her desk. On the other hand, take the store manager who is looking for reliable people and believes he is a good judge of character, it may take a lot of charm and sincerity to get past the interview stage. Here is a little insider knowledge that you should know about job interviews.
Treat your job interview like a date you are having with a fairly new friend in a situation where you are on the brink of being dropped in the friend zone. If the date goes okay or poorly, then you will be forever relegated to the friend zone, and if it goes well, then romance may be in the air. Treat your interview as if you were going on that date.
Would you turn up two hours early to the date? No, but you wouldn’t be late either. On the other hand, there are certain benefits to being early. Some people are early on purpose so that they may talk to other applicants, and so that they may explore a little and make friends with the staff. All it takes is a few email addresses, a few WhatsApp messages, or a few Facebook follows, and before you know it you have a friend on the inside who is pushing to get you hired. The greatest part about this tactic is that you have the perfect reason to ask around about jobs. If you are just a walk-in off the street who starts asking employees for job advice, then they would turn you away, but you are only exploring because you have a job interview, and if employees know this, then they may be more inviting when you start asking questions about the workplace, managers, and so forth. Remember that it is not what you know, it is who you know, and there is nothing wrong with making a few friends in the company before your interview.
Are you perfect for a job, and are the managers saying you are perfect, and you already have the job, and yet they still want to interview you? Ever wondered why a company needs somebody today, but you still need an interview? This is because many insurance companies demand that a lot of due diligence is done before they will cover employees. After all, they need to know that companies are going to weed out illegal workers, wanted criminals, and unqualified persons. Sometimes, an interview is little more than a legal formality.
On a similar topic, if you are canceling a job interview because you have found a job elsewhere, do not start to worry if the person on the other end of the phone starts to give you a hassle. You are not under any legal obligation to attend a job interview even if you have already agreed to attend.
Appearing nervous about job interview is a weakness, it is a “weaknesses job interview” factor, but it is something that is easy to get around. Start out by saying that you are really nervous because you didn't think you would get a chance to interview. It is a timid thing to say, but it helps make you appear more honest; albeit not for the reasons you think. Explaining that you are nervous makes you appear more honest because some people mistake nervousness for lying. People who are nervous often do the same things physically and verbally that liars do, such as perspiring, stuttering, fidgeting, etc. Telling the interviewer that you are nervous may help avoid confusion. Obviously, it is better to walk in and be confident, but that may take some practice.
A “weaknesses job interview” factor is appearing unhappy to be there. This sounds like a paradox because many people feel uncomfortable at interviews, but the people doing the interviews often forget how uncomfortable job interviews are because it has been years since they took an interview themselves. If you want the job, then you should be happy to be there, so it is imperative that you come across as happy and grateful to have the opportunity to take that job interview.
Ever wondered how your terrible boss manages to keep her/his job? Or, how your cheating and a lackadaisical co-worker got the job in the first place? Seasoned managers in larger companies will often rely on HR departments to do the hiring, but the fact is that HR staff are great at dealing with facts but know less about day-to-day business dealings. That is why they are less able to spot parasitic workers who repeatedly get good jobs because they are good at taking interviews.
To put it another way, a seasoned manager knows what signals a parasitic worker gives off, and they are sometimes able to spot them within just a few minutes of meeting them. However, when HR department staff have finished hiring a person, it is usually the last they see of that person, so they never learn which are good employees and which are bad employees unless that same employee ends up making silly mistakes. Parasitic employees know how to stay out of trouble, which is why they stick around in jobs for so long.
This is not a “weaknesses job interview” factor; nobody is saying you are parasitic if you interview well, but it does demonstrate the power of interviewing well. To put it simply, if you actually spend time practicing your interviews and preparing, then you will learn enough to become a great interviewee. It sounds like a contradiction because people who are good at taking interviews are often hired more quickly, but that is not the point. The point is that you should prepare for interviews, practice for them, and use them to hone your interviewee skills. An interview isn't a one-shot chance at a job. For you, an interview is another chance to hone your interview skills.
Taking the attitude from the previous block is beneficial because you will become a better interview taker, but there is also a pressure paradox that may help. The more you focus on learning, and the more you focus on using your interview to hone your skills, the less pressure you feel to get the job, which paradoxically makes you a better interviewee.
The best example of the pressure paradox is in the movie “Fight Club.” The members of the club are told to go out and intentionally lose a fight. Entering a fight with the knowledge they are going to lose makes them (paradoxically) less afraid of fighting. On the same note, if you were sure you were not going to get a job and that you were just going there to practice taking interviews, you would paradoxically feel far more relaxed and would act with far more confidence. Keep this in mind the next time you are really worried about the job interview. Tell yourself that this is not the job you are going to get, start planning to get another job and use this interview as a way to improve your interviewing skills.