tidbits and flavors
So, you finally got the phone call and you are scheduled for an interview. Yea! This is a good thing, so congratulations. I have sat for a few interviews myself, some turned out successful and some, not so successful. I have learned a lot about job interviewing thought my years in graduate school for professional counseling. After all, what better place to learn about the human condition and how to move throughout life than being in a human services field especially one that focuses on the mind. Here are a few tips from a mental health professional on job interviewing.
Take a breath before answering a question
When you are asked to answer a question, formulate your answer and then open your mouth to speak. It is okay if you do this because it shows that you take time to think before you speak or act. Often times, people think that if they don’t answer a question as soon as the other person is done speaking that they’ll look like they don’t even have an answer.
Know your audience
Pay attention to who you are talking to, remember what they’re positions is in the work place. Why are you even in the interview? Do you know about the company?
Breath throughout your interview
I know that you might be nervous, but you have to remember to breath throughout the whole interview. This is not only important for not looking like a goof, but it will keep your body calm. A calm person will have a great ability think and respond. If you have to, tell yourself to breath (silently of course).
Smile a little, but don’t be overly happy.
Keep a pleasant smile, but don’t be cheesy. Let folks know that you are looking forward for the opportunity to work at such and such company, but please keep the smile at bay. Don’t let your fear show through either. The folks in front of you already know that you are going to be slightly nervous, but they do want to see how you are going to handle pressure.
Look over interview questions and get an idea of some answers before they are asked.
I am not going to reinvent the wheel here. There are tons of websites with great bits of information on interview questions and how to answer these. I do, however, stress that you read these questions and contemplate your own answers in order to be prepared. Below is a link to a site that has some great examples of questions and answers.
What if this is not your dream job, what kind of worker are you going to be?
I once had to work at a factory. I am not putting down factory workers AT ALL, but it was not where I wanted to be. I had an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and I had to wake up before the crack of dawn to work in a factory. I asked my husband, “how do I make it through this?” My husband gave me some of the wisest advice that I have ever heard and keep it with me till this day. He told me, “no matter what you do, be the best at it that you can be.” I was just that. I made a decision that while I was working at a factory that manufactured car parts that I was going to be the best I could be. I learned what I could, when I could. I was prepared to move up the ranks, yet I kept chipping away at the job board, applying for job after job. I found my fit and left said factory after about two months.
Make your choice on where you baseline is
So even as a teenager, I made a decision that there were some fields that I did not want to work in. For me, it was the food industry. I was fortunate enough to never have had to work in the food service industry, and it’s okay if I made this decision. I am not talking about filling a need in your life and being desperate to get a job. As I mentioned above, I had to work at a manufacturing factory for a few months after my husband separated from the Army. I made peace with this despite crying every morning before I went to work. I gave myself a baseline and a game plan. I knew that if I had to go below my baseline that I was going to work my A#$ off to get back above the line.
So, this may seem like a no brainier, but you cannot and should not tell an interviewer what they want to hear. If your values do not align with the companies, you need to say so. I know that you might be desperate for a job, but you cannot be a people pleaser either. This could cause massive conflict down the road later as you could find yourself in a compromising situation. I’m not expecting you to apply for a position with the mob as an enforcer, but it is vital to keep your values and morals. Sure, you will not always agree with your boss’ or co-workers’ values and morals, but if your mission and values do not align with the company, it is best to be honest from the start.
Life is what you make it. I am not saying that you are going to be able to fulfill every dream simply because you are prepared, but you have to know your own limits and take job interviews seriously. You may fail the first or second time, but that does not mean you should give up.
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