Saturday, August 20, 2011

Self awareness is a good hard look in the mirror.

Help where you can.

Job interviews can bring up a lot of emotions such as; fear, anxiety, worry, frustration, depression, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, and encouragement. A close friend, who works in the field of emotional intelligence, told me that emotions hold wisdom and messages and it is important to feel and listen to what emotions can tell us about ourselves and our direction.

How do these emotions come across to the hiring manager?
How do these emotions affect our appearance and interview performance?

Companies have several people involved in the interview process (interviewers). The reason is to determine if the interviewee is the right fit for the position and the company. How the interviewee projects themselves to each interviewer will be factored into the decision process. The interviewers meet to discuss the interviewees after the interviews are complete. Being consistently enthusiastic, confident and qualified with your emotions and appearance at each interview will result in similar feedback from each interviewer and a unanimous decision can be made. The interviewers will discuss their interview experience in detail when there is dissimilar feedback in an effort to determine the real character and qualifications of the interviewee.

This is where a good hard look in the mirror can help the interviewee make a consistent first impression that lands the job.

Reflect on recent interviews and critic them honestly.
How were you dressed?
What was your smell?
What did your face and hair look like?
Was your smile bright and free from the day’s meals?
Did you make eye contact throughout the interview? (looking away reflects a lack of confidence and uncertainty)
What emotions were you feeling?
How did you carry your body?

The interview attire should always be professional which means a suit and clean shoes with no scuffs or holes. Jewelry should be conservative and be sure to cover any body tattoos/piercings. Be aware of how much perfume or cologne you use. Be sure your face and teeth are clean and your hair is conservative and neat.

Be aware of the emotions you are feeling before the interview. You can calm these emotions by visualizing the interview and seeing a positive performance. Pay attention to the emotions that arise during the interview and work through them by answering the interview questions honestly, authentically and with confidence. Don’t think in terms of right or wrong answers because your answers are always the right answers for your experience, skill set and job knowledge.

Practice before the interview by finding interview questions on the internet and answering them verbally and in writing. Answer the interview questions in writing to practice your hand writing and verbally to practice how you speak. Record your answers so you can hear yourself speak, listen as if you are the hiring manager. What would a hiring manager hear in your answers through tone and projection of voice? Is there enthusiasm and confidence throughout? Practice by videotaping a practice interview so you can see how you look to a hiring manager. Critic yourself honestly and make the appropriate adjustments.

Answer the interview questions with authentic enthusiasm, always look and feel your best and this will project you as the right fit for the position and the company.

Emotional Intelligence resources:
Emotional intelligence books by Author Daniel Goleman