Interviews are all about your confidence level
I was remembering this weekend when I was hunting for a job years ago and wasn’t that confident in myself. I was sitting in the lobby of a company and they were doing back to back interviews. Because they were back to back interviews, I knew that the people interviewing candidates would be tired and want to hurry through mine since I was the last one in the day. What I thought might happen, but didn’t expect to happen, was to see and hear the person who was interviewing before me. While I was sitting in the lobby, I could actually hear parts of the interview going on through the wall. I think just about everyone who would hear an interview going on for the job you are interviewing for would be curious and want to listen in, so I did.
I couldn’t hear everything but I did hear some laughter and how confident the guy before me sounded. He had them laughing, was talking about international experience as well as local and sounded like a great person to want to be around and work with. Then I heard them start to say their goodbyes and end the interview on a very positive note. They even told him they would be calling him. The Interviewers came out and looked a little surprised to see me sitting there. They had a slight look of concern that I would see the person before me as well, but it made me feel like I had even less of a shot for getting the job because of there reaction to seeing me. The reason they didn’t expect to see me is that I got there 30 minutes early which I was told was a good thing. Not only did this make me three times as nervous since I just saw the people interviewing me and they were surprised to see me, but I was also going to see who my competition was. Even worse, I was going to see him and meet them after he finished giving an awesome interview.
He walked out of the office and not only did he bond with the Interviewers, but he was also tall and very well kept. People have always told me that good looking people tend to get hired more than others and I’m definitely not the most in shape or tallest or best looking person. Whether or not that is true depends on what studies or articles you read or believe, but I did let it get to me when I saw the person before me. Having that in the back of my head definitely made me nervous. I had to see this great looking person who was smart, personable and just gave an amazing interview before me come out of the office and the look on his face said he had gotten the job. When he noticed me, he gave me a glance and a smile and then walked out. The two interviewers went to get water and go discuss him. At that point I figured it was hopeless and I would never get the job. How could I compete with the guy who just walked out. He seemed and sounded perfect. What I forgot was that I am by far one of the best in my field and I can use that to my advantage. When the interviewers came back out to get me I was scared. Instead of letting it show, I shook off the nerves and walked in with a huge smile and a ton of great energy.
When I walked into the room, the Interviewers were sitting there with the cold, intense and aggressive stares that would cause anyone to feel nervous in any situation, not just in an interview. I thought to myself that there is no reason to be nervous, I’m one of the best and I don’t have anything to lose. But in the back of my head I still believed that they already wanted to hire the guy before me and they even said they’d be calling him which was something that was even more nerve racking. Instead of giving up, I shook off my nerves again and decided that I am just going to go in, give off a ton of happy, positive energy and show them why I am the best person for the job and the person that they need to hire.
When I sat down the interview started with a cold stare and the two people just sat there silent. Instead of letting them wait to start, I jumped right in and introduced myself and said I was happy to be there. I also said, where would you like to start or what would you like to know? They were a little taken back by me being the aggressive one, but I wanted this interview to go my way and they went with it. About 5 minutes later we were laughing, smiling and the interview took off.
Before I knew it, we had been talking for over an hour and half and all of the sudden everyone realized we had to part because the day was over. I thought of the tall and good looking, in shape person who was smart and funny that interviewed before me, and in my head I said take that buddy! I knew the Interviewers liked me because we had an awesome interview, I just didn’t know how much they liked the other guy or even the other people before them. What I did know is that I felt confident that my interview went well and they liked me too. Then all of the sudden they both started talking in another language and offered me the job on the spot. Not only did they offer me the job, they also told me why.
They said that my skills were far better than anyone else who had walked in the door. They also felt that I could do more for them in a short period of time than any of the other candidates. More importantly, I can take control of a situation and make everyone feel good and happy. That is what stuck with me.
If you’re in an interview situation and you see or hear the people before you, don’t let it scare you. If they are taller, smarter, better looking, better dressed, better whatever, that doesn’t always matter. What does matter is that you keep yourself confident, focused and make sure that everyone in the room is getting a positive vibe from you. Having confidence, skills and professionalism, as well as being able to make the whole room feel comfortable is something that will stand above the rest during an interview. Always remember to be confident in yourself and show why you are the best. Forget about the other people who interviewed before you because you have just as good of a chance to get the job. If you can take control of your nerves and feel confident, then you can get the job you are applying to!