The "Psychology" Behind the Interview
Jill Klees M.A. '95
Whether you are a recent grad or a seasoned professional, when it comes to preparing for an interview, there is one important element that tends to get overlooked. I call it the “psychology” behind the interview, or in other words, the “attitude” you bring to the interview.
Your mental state can put everything into perspective, boost your confidence, and help you remain in control. Here are my tips for mastering the “psychology” behind the interview. Keep in mind that:
1. You are being interviewed for a reason.
Remind yourself that not every person who applied for this position is being interviewed. You beat out sometimes hundreds of other applicants for this opportunity. There is something special and intriguing about you, beyond graduating from SCU. Go in feeling empowered. You are among a select few. Be confident in your capabilities.
2. The interviewer wants you to be successful.
Believe it or not, the recruiter or hiring manager is just as hopeful as you are when you walk in the door for the interview that you are “the one.” It would make their job so much easier if they could quickly fill their position with the right candidate and move on. It takes a lot of time to serve on a search committee or be a part of the interviewing team and they would love it if you made their decision easy. So walk in there and “wow” them!
3. The first impression is made in the first 90 seconds.
When you walk into the room make eye contact, greet your interviewer, shake hands, and take a seat. Everything from how you carry yourself, to what you are wearing, to what you say and how you say it, are being taken into consideration. Many interviewers have already made a hiring decision based on their first impression. They spend the rest of the interview collecting data to prove to themselves that they want you or why you didn’t make the cut. So do yourself a favor and ensure that you have the basics covered.
4. The interviewer is not trying to stress you out.
The interview is not typically a trick or designed to cause you a great deal of discomfort beyond the normal interview jitters. Remember, they want you to be successful. They want to get to know you and they need to ensure that you are the right candidate and that you can handle the job. They don’t want to rehire for this position anytime soon. Be sure to practice for the interview A LOT! You cannot over-prepare for an interview. Tell yourself, “You’ve got this,” and walk in there and nail it!
Take the time before the interview to prepare mentally and get your head in the right place. It will make a big difference in how you present yourself to a potential employer.