How to Perform Well at a Job Interview

by Henrik Edberg

How to Perform Well at a Job Interview
Image by joshuahoffmanphoto (license).

Note: This is a guest post by Sherry Mirshahi of Interview Roadmap.

Our current economy has been described with words such as “challenging,” “difficult,” and “terrible.” Most people, especially those who are still looking for jobs, immediately feel very discouraged at what the future may hold when it comes to job availability and security.  Jobseekers in particular feel more pressure to find a good opportunity and perform well in the interview. The truth is that employers are becoming more selective and while there aren’t as many jobs as there were before the economy slump, this doesn’t mean that you should give in to the negativity.

Confidence is the key.

In fact, one of the best pieces of advice I have always given is to walk into an interview as though you already have the job.  See your interview as more of a formality because they have already chosen you. Or, imagine that you are simply having a conversation with a friend and they want to know more about you and your career successes. Interviewers can easily sense if you aren’t confident, or aren’t comfortable so it is imperative that you exude an air of self-confidence.  In addition, appearing to be too nervous, or worried can ruin your credibility with employers and this can leave a bad impression. 

Part of having interview self-confidence means doing some mental preparation beforehand.  I am a firm believer in affirmations and I can say whole-heartedly that they truly work from my own experiences.  Affirmations are simply statements that usually begin with “I am” or “I have” that are positive declarations of who you are or what you would like.  For instance, if you want to have a healthier life, you might say, “I am a healthy person enjoying a stress-free life.” The statements should elicit strong positive emotions in you because the secret to a good affirmation is to feel as though what you want has already happened. 

If you obtained whatever position you wanted, what would you say? How would you feel? Start your affirmation with “I am” or “I have” or “I feel” and go from there.  You should feel better as you repeat the affirmation to yourself.  For many job seekers, I would suggest the following affirmations:

  • I am a winner. 
  • I am so happy and grateful for the new job I now have.  I do work I love, I make good money, and I work with people I truly like.
  • I am excited about my new position that I have landed with XYZ company.
  • I easily impress my interviewer and they offer me the job.
  • I obtain this job effortlessly.
  • I am a magnet for job opportunities. 
  • I attract excellent job opportunities that fit me perfectly.

A few upsides even if you don’t get the job

But what if you prepare adequately, do affirmations (or simply stay positive), and still don’t get the job? While at first glance it may feel pretty disappointing, the news isn’t as bad as you think.  Consider the following:

  • You now know more about the company than you did before and if you should choose to interview with them in the future, you will know more than the other candidates!
  • You now have several new industry contacts (i.e. your interviewers).  Stay in touch with them and follow-up to let them know if you are interested in any future positions. 
  • Sometimes, if the interviewer was impressed with you but unable to make you an offer, they may keep you in mind for future jobs. It never hurts to ask!
  • You might not have received the job, but the interview was excellent practice.  If you stumbled a little during the interview, or were asked questions you felt unprepared for, you can now study up on how to better prepare for next time.  Each interview that doesn’t land a job is simply another preparation tool for the job you will receive soon.

Lastly, keep yourself surrounded with positive people who will remind you of all of your wonderful accomplishments. Sometimes jobseekers forget their past successes because they have given in to the fear of not finding the right position. But having people in your corner to cheer you on will make a big difference in your self-esteem. 

If you follow these simple steps, you’ll feel better and perform much better in your next job interview.  Keep your spirits up, remember your worth, and know that soon enough things will fall into place for you.

Sherry Mirshahi is the president of Interview Roadmap which provides resumes, cover letters, interview consulting and seminars.  She has been quoted by The Examiner and most recently in an article on Yahoo! Hot Jobs.  Sherry has over 5 years of experience in the field of resume writing and interview consulting.  She is an expert resume writer and certified employment interview consultant.

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{ 3 comments }

Cody - Dream-Life-Coaching April 21, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Hi,
Good article, I think another point is that you have to show the the employer specifically how they will benefit from hiring you. Do some homework and show them how you will provide a unique, profitable skill that they currently don’t have. Showing a company $$$ signs will get you hired quickly.

Cody

Amezstudio April 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Excellent Topic,going forward with postive attitude is the main thing.THESE days people are so depressed and they are always negative about themselves,people have to learn a lot reading this Article and march towards the line victory in there lifes.Live to win.
Sam

arunkumar June 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

really the information stated above by Sherry Mirshahi was very useful to me, tommorrow i am going for an interview, surely i hope i do better then what i think before, in the interview with the help of the tips.
-A. Arunkumar

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