How to Psych Yourself Up For An Interview

job interview preparation tipsLanding a new job can have as much to do with your state of mind as your resume. Use these techniques to ace your next interview.

1. Compliment, make eye contact, and connect.

In other words, "schmooze." Studies have shown that interviewees who make positive remarks about the company, seem excited about the position, maintain eye contact, and make conversation are more impressive to their potential employers than those who spent the majority of their time touting their professional skills and accomplishments.

2. Talk (or imagine) yourself through it.

The night before an interview, or even while you're waiting in the reception area, giving yourself an internal pep talk or visualizing yourself feeling confident and in control actually can improve your performance during the interview.

3. Work the handshake (but skip the perma-smile).

It turns out that your grandfather was right on the money -- a firm handshake evokes confidence and capability, and does indeed play a part in hiring decisions. That cheesy grin plastered on your face throughout the interview, however, has the opposite effect. It's important to smile and be enthusiastic, but make sure it comes off as genuine or risk turning off a potential employer.

4. Reveal your weaknesses up front and save your strengths till the end.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but research has shown that interviewees who are honest early in the interview about things such as gaps in their work history, or lack of experience in a specific area, impress employers more than those who conceal weaknesses until the end, or fail to mention them at all. Starting off an interview by describing your greatest professional feats can make you seem self-promotional rather than accomplished, while closing an interview by focusing on your strengths will leave the interviewer with a positive lasting impression.

5. Make yourself memorable -- in a good way.

A recently published 2011 report revealed that interviewees who offered creative answers to typical questions impressed interviewers more than those who simply stated the facts. The key is figuring out a way to make your responses stand out, while not seeming pretentious or contentious. Think novel or original rather than precocious or outright weird. And keep your "likes" and "ums" to a minimum -- one study showed that interviewees who peppered their speech with such fillers were less likely to be hired than those who sounded more professional.

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October 10 2011 at 5:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm not sure where the writer of this "How to Psych Yourself Up" piece got his/her information, but more than forty years as a volunteer leading job-search workshops, an author of the only book on the subject offering a money-back guarantee and the documented experience of more than 500 job-seekers, my findings are totally different. They show that hiring managers are not trained to interview, They understandably use the same approach they recall from when they were interviewed. So they need help to focus the session on what it is they want most; someone who meets the job criteria and can make them look good.

They need help -- and the only person who can help them is the job-seeker. The most effective, tactful and respectful way to help them is to follow the greeting by asking permission to ask just one question. When this permission is granted, ask it. It's only eleven words long and easy to say: "By what criteria will you select the person for this job?" It's also easy to answer. As it is answered, make a list of the criteria. (A legal-size yellow pad works best.) Now you know exactly how to present yourself in the most effective way.

There are other factors involved, but that's the heart of the matter.

September 30 2011 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you take a beer. make sure to bring one for the person interviewing you.

September 30 2011 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Barb And Tim

I did 6 hours of phone interviews and was told after that I was not a "fit " for the company. It was not a video conference either. Of course it was 6 hours of interviews based on the Top Grading system. Another sham so people don't have to make decisions.

September 30 2011 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They forgot to add to be sure you're under 40 and being a "babe" helps.

September 30 2011 at 7:43 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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