Guest post by Nadia Jones - Interviews are 90% confidence and 10% experience. Many applicants are under the mostly false impression that it is their knowledge and skills that are being tested in an interview and spend hours trying to anticipate questions about their experience and formulate answers that will impress interviewers.
While any amount of preparation is helpful, and though there will be questions about experience, interviews are primarily an opportunity for employers to gauge an applicant’s emotional intelligence (EQ) and personality.
If you have made it to the interview stage of an application, the employer has already been impressed by your résumé, and wants to get to know you on a more personal level. Of course, they will ask questions about your previous work experience, but almost every question asked in an interview is designed to test your character and not your expertise.
EQ is the reason that a confident applicant with slightly less experience will almost get the job over a better qualified applicant who was timid, nervous, or awkward during an interview.
Some people are naturally confident, but that doesn’t mean that if you aren’t you will always lose jobs to them. EQ can be developed and improved with practice, and by focusing on the following five traits in yourself every time you interview:
Be assertive in your interview and during the entire hiring process to help facilitate. Being assertive, however, is different than being pushy, combative, or aggressive, so be sure to know where to draw the line. It can sometimes be a challenging line to draw, but always frame your responses in a way that promotes forward movement without seeming domineering.
It is important for you to demonstrate to your interviewer that you are interested enough in the job to have specific information and ask for specific information in return, such as a specific date when a final hiring decision will be made.
Applicants come to interviews from all walks of life, but they rarely stop to identify their own feelings about their current position before walking into an interview office. Many are sabotaged by their feelings without even knowing it, and the reason is this: Your feelings influence your character.
Consider a man or woman who has been unemployed, looking for a job for six months. Having submitted résumé after résumé, and after having been to several interviews, all without any success will have had an impact on his or her attitude, whether he or she was aware of it or not. Suppose this person got an interview after six months of rejection; her attitude would not be confident, but would probably be dejected and depressed.
Would an interviewer hire someone like that? Probably not.
So before your next interview, take inventory of what you are feeling so that you can compensate for feelings that might hurt the interview. If you know you’ve been angry that your car is breaking down, take some time to compose yourself before walking into an interview.
It is important to monitor your own feelings and experience of an interview, but perhaps even more important is being sensitive to the interview and to the situation itself. This might seem difficult, but it is much easier than it sounds, because ultimately all it means is being aware of the other person in the room. As mentioned above, interviews are mostly about proving to an employer that you would make a good fit in the company. What better way to do that than to pay attention to the interviewer’s attitude?
Respond to your interviewer’s attitude in kind. Think about what your interview is thinking when he or she asks certain questions, and try to imagine what they are getting at by asking that question.
The most confident people are those who can read another person or a situation and respond appropriately to it without hesitation. This is a skill you can develop in and outside of interviews, and is definitely worth refining.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at accredited online colleges about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.