We’ve all been there…standing in the elevator, nervously wondering what’s in store for the next two hours. Hoping it goes well, and wishing that you just felt…more confident.
Have you ever gone into an interview feeling a little desperate for the job? Feeling like on the outside you smile and greet people, but on the inside you are hoping that they don’t notice that your hands are sweaty or your shoulders are tense. And all you are thinking is “Please pick me. Please pick me. Please pick me.“
It’s a scary place to be. You are interviewing not only because you want the job, but often also because you need the money. And well…it can feel a little bit shameful.
So, to end the shame let’s pull out a handy dating analogy! Interviewing the “pick me please!’ mindset is a lot like dating in highschool when you are wearing glasses, braces, an a solid 1980’s wardrobe. You spend time lurking near lockers desperately hoping that the hot guy asks you out or the beautiful girl notices you. You hover, make yourself available, and just ask to be slapped down. Sadly, you become the Duckie of the interviewing world (if you don’t know this reference then go and watch Pretty in Pink. Seriously).
And unfortunately, people can smell that all over you.
So, what to do?
The answer (of course!) involves changing your mindset. When you are interviewing, and they like you, the company makes you an offer. It’s called an offer because it is then up to you to accept the terms and start work, right? It’s not a legally binding agreement or a proposal for marriage (another legally binding agreement). All a company can do when they like you is to make you an offer.
You get to decide if you accept.
And that is the key to a great interview: instead of the “pick me” mindset, how about the “I’m interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing me” mindset? Or put even more simply: “I choose you.” There is something inherently cool and confident about a person who takes some of the power back and makes a choice. When you walk into your first meeting with “I’m interested in this job, and I’m excited to see if I want to choose it” as the thought in your brain, you come across as quietly confident.
No sweaty palms. No forced smile.
How would that feel?
Try it on your next interview and see how it goes! (And feel free to do your homework first by watching Pretty in Pink. It only takes about one brain cell to keep up with the plot. You are welcome!)
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