If you are nervous about the interview process, you are no different than most who seek employment, regardless of experience or position. The more they want the job the higher level of anxiety they may be feeling. I don’t know many people who like to interview, much less look forward to it. But there are those who feel more confident than others. Confidence by itself isn’t enough to get you a job offer, but it clearly is helpful to your efforts when observed by a hiring manager. And just for the sake of mention, an over-inflated ego, hubris or arrogance is not synonymous nor a substitute for confidence.
It is likely that when you are competing for employment you’re not alone and, in fact, a company you seek to work for might have received a hundred or more resumes. But this is not reason to stress, that number will be greatly reduced by the time you have secured an interview. Perhaps you will be competing with 10 or possibly more in the actual face-to-face hiring ritual. Nonetheless I recognize you’ll likely still have concerns.
In an attempt to help you chill a bit, let me provide you with a reality check as a gesture to help you regain a little more confidence about the process into which you’re entering. The following is a list of 10 truths, in no particular order, about people in general, who are also seeking the same job as you are.
• Most people are just as nervous as you, or more so
• Most people arrive unprepared for their interview
• Most people have very little understanding of the interview process
• Most people don't know how to best present themselves
• Most people lack basic interpersonal communication skills
• Most people possess little or no negotiating skills
• Most people rely on their resume, a piece of paper, to speak for them
• Most people won’t ask for the job
• Most people don’t follow up after an interview nor send a thank you note or email
• Most people are unwilling to do the things that could help improve their chances of success
This list exemplifies the subjects I write about on this blog and address in greater detail in my book in order to help those who want to help themselves.
Let me ask, how many of those above points describe you? Are you most people? Do you want to be most people? At the end of the interview process, only one individual will be selected, there is no second-place winner. So, if you are reading this blog, I assume you want to improve your chances for success.
It would be a mistake to have a false sense of security, thinking, “Oh, well, if everyone else is nervous it’s okay, I feel better.” Just because others are wandering, for the most part clueless, through a process they should take more seriously, doesn’t mean you should, too. Instead, recognize there is a lot of wiggle room for you to make self improvements in order to outdo and outshine others, who think the bare minimum is good enough – it isn’t, and so this is where you can gain clear advantage, if you choose to.
Here’s what I want you to do; print this list and use it as your personal checklist before your next interview and also to remind yourself it’s not as scary as you may think. Most people are as nervous as you are. No one is expected to be an expert interviewer, most of us already have enough going on in our lives, and we’re all busy enough as it is. But making an effort, whenever and however you can, increases your chances for success and something you must make a conscious effort to do; you’ll be making a sound investment in a commodity with unlimited potential – you.
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