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How to Succeed at a Job Interview

Going to job interviews is uncomfortable and stressful for everyone because, out of necessity, the people doing the interviewing will be judging you. I know that going to job interviews is stressful because I've gone to many of them. But eventually I became a manager and moved from the receiving side to the giving side of the job interview. I've been on both sides, so I'm in a position to advise you about how to succeed at job interviewing.

In the old days when you went for a job interview, you were interviewed by only one person, and if they liked you, you were hired. Today, you're more likely to be interviewed by several people, and that's just in the first round. If you advance past the first round, you'll be called back to be interviewed by several more people. And many of these people have read books instructing them to ask stupid canned questions like:

What challenges did you face and how did you handle them?

What is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?

Tell me about yourself.

In my opinion these questions are non-productive and I've never used them, but you should be prepared to answer them. How do you answer these canned questions? By reading books, or visiting websites that give you the canned answers. Job interviewing is really game, isn't it?

Proper Interview Attire

You should already know this, but the best way to dress for a job interview is conservatively. Unless your going to an interview for a creative artist job, or rock band job, dress conservatively. This means lose the lip or tong ring and boys lose the ear rings. It's not that any particular interviewer is a snob, it's just that there are may conservative people out there, and in the job position you're applying for, you'll be representing the company when you interface with these conservative people.

Overcoming Job Interview Anxiety

As I said, I know that going to job interviews is stressful because I've gone to many of them. You may be too anxious to even travel to the interview location, much less actually submit to the interview. When you're anxious at a job interview, you may say stupid things or exaggerate your abilities. The secret to overcoming job interview anxiety is to decide that you're not actually trying to get the job.

You're not trying to get the job. You're only trying to learn how the company operates, how they do business, how they make their money. Pretend you're an entrepreneur who would like to get into that same business yourself. You don't care how they judge you or whether you get the job or not. You're playing a head game on yourself to be sure, but if it helps you overcome job interview anxiety, so what?

I'm not saying you be callus and self sabotaging. I'm just saying that if you pretend that you're not actually trying to get the job, you will not be nervous, you will not be inclined to say stupid things and exaggerate your abilities. Instead you'll be asking questions to learn about how the business operates. The interviewer will see you as a person who is seriously interested in the business. Your enthusiasm about the business may actually get you the job.

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