Jedi Mindtricks for Acing a Job Interview
If the idea of a job interview wasn’t scary enough, you should know that according to research, the time it takes for an interviewer to get to a final decision is about 4 minutes on average. That gives you very little time to impress. But don’t worry just yet, for your ally is the Force!
1. Don’t panic
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
This may sound overly dramatic but let’s remember that this is Yoda speaking. He knows what he’s talking about, though. So go ahead and get rid of stress as much as you can. Clearing your mind allows you to focus better and prove what a great padawan you are, and it isn’t so difficult to do.
Sleep well, and try to exercise the day before or the morning of your interview. Get to the location of the interview ten to fifteen minutes early so time won’t be a problem, even if you miss a bus or get stuck in traffic. Once you are there and before going in, walk around a bit and breathe deeply. A minute of breathing exercises goes a very long way.
2. Believe it can happen
[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.
Visualise a state of peacefulness and trick your body into believing it. Psych the perfect interview you will attend and rationalise what a great applicant you are. The ship is not getting out of the swamps by itself!
Through the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future…the past. Old friends long gone.
Mental imagery – or as I prefer referring to it, The Force – has proved itself as a compelling way to improve success. So while you’re at it, visualise the interview, visualise how great you feel, visualise the job offer, visualise your future desk, even. It doesn’t seem so outlandish anymore, does it?
3. Power pose
Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm?
A dominant posture can go a long way. In this cool TED talk, Amy Cuddy talks about how “power posing” can change the way we and the others perceive us, even when we don’t feel confident. So stand straight, look ahead, feet apart and rooted in the floor, and hands on your hips. You’ll feel better, and others will see you as a confident person. When sitting, don’t slouch on your chair. Sit up, shoulders straight, you’ll appear much more confident than if you try to make yourself smaller than you are.
4. Read your interviewer
When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back.
Reading your interviewer’s facial expressions and body language can provide really important feedback. Know what they are thinking before they utter it and respond accordingly. “I am the applicant you are looking for.” A frown, a mimic or some fidgeting might be tells that the interviewer is surprised, annoyed, or bored. Pick up on these signals and readjust accordingly. Maybe that story about how you saved a cat isn’t that interesting after all. But whatever happens, don’t forget tip #1, Don’t Panic.
This will keep you on the right path, as you will avoid getting irrelevant.
5. Know what you’re talking about
The interviewer owns the questions, therefore you should own the answers. Know what you are talking about, and you will be able to take initiatives and be in control. Be sure you know the company at which you’re applying inside out. Know what they do and why, who their competition is and how they’re different from them, what job you’re applying to and why (that should go without saying, but think about it for a moment and devise and answer that fits you and the company). Also, be sure to come armed with some questions of your own. You don’t want to go “eeeeeeer”, or worse, “no”, when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. Ask them about what their expectations are, or about what your responsibilities will be in the first few months on the job. Ask them anything that shows that you care, and that you can already see yourself in the position. Ask questions that you would ask on your first day working there.
And go easy on the errr, argh, uh. You are not a Wookie.
Not if anything to say about it I have.
6. Paraphrase your interviewer
Always pass on what you have learned.
“Reflective listening” is a communication strategy that consists of listening and then paraphrasing what the other person said. This proves you are a good listener and that you understood what the person said. As a bonus, it’s also seen as a form of flattery. Good listening skills FTW.
7. Learn to control your speach
Control, control, you must learn control!
Take your time to think before you speak and to articulate your answers properly. Don’t rush out, be in control. Control makes you look confident and probably makes you feel like it too. But remember to make it worth the wait.
Much to learn you still have…my young padawan. … This is just the beginning!
Even though Yoda makes such a great interview coaching expert, you probably still have a long way to go. But do not fear, we are here to guide you. Here is some advice that will help you continue your path in getting the job you want by defining your destination and unique selling proposition, standing out from the crowd and managing your moment of truth.