How do I prep for an interview? Getting more from less.

interview desk

How do I prep for an interview? Getting more from less.

I used to get extremely nervous going into interviews. I would get anxious, I wouldn’t know how to prepare. I’d start getting worried about all those “Tell me about a time when you…” questions that you find in the typical interview. Then, and this sounds terrible, but I quit caring. It was an amazing relief.

I found a certain zen in the knowledge that if I need to be someone I’m not in order to land a job, then I’m not the right person for the job. I would tell myself either the manager might be playing games, in which case, that’s not an environment I want to be part of. Alternately, if I can’t answer their questions without a lot of prep, then it’s not a job I could hit the ground running in.

How to succeed in the interview

Thats a great strategy for reducing the nerves before an interview, but having now conducted a few interviews, there’s a little bit of prep that can go a long way. Good businesses hire for fit. How is that gauged? At least one way is via feeling out the candidate’s interest in the company. So do your research about the company, look for recent executive changes, big news items, know their mission, etc. What you want to do (and it should be genuine) is explain why you want the job at THAT company.

Right Before The Interview

Something I learned in The Happiness Advantage was that getting a pep talk like “don’t blow” it can get you focused on the negative and you can target fixate on failure. I sort of see interview prep this way. If you focus on all the questions that will be super tough you’re looking at all the curveballs and not really focused on what you need to do to succeed. In fact, rather than further prep, The Happiness Advantage even suggests that something fun and relaxing will set you up better, they even suggest cat videos and maybe striking a power pose. Check out my interview prep suggestions below.

I’ve already told you how a cover letter can help you land that interview. Now you know my interview strategy, it can seem counter intuitive, however sometimes being too polished and prepared can come off as fake or scripted. One thing interview panels will do is compare notes. If you drop that same clever anecdote in every interview, it will be noticed. So what do you think, would this leave you more anxious? How do you prepare?

Hit that power pose!

Then relax.

Image Credits: David Davies