Have you ever been so nervous that your stomach hurts? They call it ‘butterflies’ for some reason, but it’s actually just a reduction in blood flow to your stomach, as a result of the fight or flight reaction. I’m going to be quite gross and say when I’m nervous I get the urge to deffocate or even feel feverish or sick. No matter how much I prepare, or try to build my confidence; I always get nervous before a job interview.
Job interviews are confusing because the questioning is always based on distrust. They will never say “Can I trust you to undertake this task?” They will say “Give me an example of when you demonstrated X” but are hoping you will indirectly reveal your abilities of Y. The person holding the interview is never objective either. I look into the face of everyone who interviews me and there is always a catch in the eye as if they are judging me and getting a certain pleasure from it. No single employee will be under as much scrutiny in a job interview, as they would be in any other meeting, unless they were being disciplined. The notes are quickly jotted down as you answer their questions and you wonder whether their writing will do your answer justice when they review it again 24 hours later.
I once had an internal interview and learnt the hard way that you cannot have a laugh with the interviewer. Even if they know you very well, they will always read joviality as being too casual or unprofessional. You are much better off sticking to the robotic soul-less persona you normally hold when at work.
I have hosted interviews and it makes you feel powerful knowing someone’s life choice is now in your hands. You take pleasure in catching people out and I can’t imagine the amount of ridicule I have received after I leave an interview. I still have doubts about one interview when someone took out a banana mid question and proceeded to eat it in front of me. I managed to avoid asking questions through mouthfuls when I was the interviewer.
I normally prepare for my interviews by looking up example questions online and have a think about how I would answer them. I always see questions like “Why should we hire you?” and “What is your biggest weakness” but there is one question I have never been asked, but wish I had been: “If you could be any animal what would you be and why”. I have dreamt of this question and always had the following answer ready in my mind:
If I could be any animal I would be an Eagle. I would be able to soar majestically with a complete control of everything on the plain below me. I would be able to reach new heights and fly above the rain”.
My competing candidate would say “I dunno a bunny rabbit I guess tee hee” and they would get the fucking job, because poetry and intelligence is not important when you are applying for a non-managerial role.
The atmosphere found in most interviews is that of a clinical nature, and there is certainly no space for personality or even a soul. The responsiveness of those sat opposite you is as tepid as the complimentary glass of tap water they provided you with.
For it is only a handful of the worst human characteristics that help you thrive in an interview. Narcissism, Arrogance, big headedness, two faced ness and worst of all Greed. Let’s not deny Greed, because afterall why are you going for the position? to earn more money! To buy more useless material crap that will eventually break and then you’ll buy more crap. If people weren’t greedy you would have CEO’S on the national minimum wage.
If you are excellent at your job, you have superb levels of experience and perhaps even a few qualifications, but are useless at interviews you are fucked. Is the interviewer always right in their decision? have they always given the person the best chance to demonstrate their knowledge, or is that all clouded by trick questioning and unfair scrutiny. There must be thousands of people that will work very hard for a company if they could only be given a chance.
I have come to the conclusion that success in an interview is nothing to do with your knowledge or experience it is simply whether you can impress the person hosting it. When you leave the room after the interview has concluded, you stand a higher chance of getting the job if there are people fighting your corner. Never be afraid to show your true smile and don’t too be harsh on the interviewers if they don’t give you the job, every interviewer makes mistakes too.