It is easy to get rattled on a job interview and blurt out something you didn’t plan to say.
That’s why it is vital to consciously calm and center yourself before and during every job interview.
As you stand in a lobby or sit waiting for your interviewer to fetch you, take deep breaths.
Follow your breath in and out with your mind.
Silently repeat affirmations like these:
1. This is fine. I’m glad to be here, and I’m going to sail through this interview.
2. Life is all about learning — and I’m getting another chance to learn something today!
3. I am the perfect new hire for the right company. I have no one to impress in this interview. My job today is to stay in my body and speak with my own voice!
Once you enter the interview room, take a look around and get your bearings. When your interviewer makes a comment or asks you a question, take a second to think before you speak.
Your goal in the job interview is to stay calm and centered so that you can fully attend to the conversation. If you let your busy brain take over it will start criticizing you right in the middle of the interview, and keep you from focusing!
The best way to quiet the critical voice in your brain is to focus intently on your conversation. Paying close attention will help you slow down and think through your answers to questions before you speak, also.
What you don’t want to do is start babbling at any point in the interview, such that your mouth takes off running while your brain tries to catch up.
Here are seven things never, ever to say in a job interview:
1. What does your company do?
2. My previous boss was a jerk
3. Is it a problem if…?
4. I’m not very good at x
5. I’m a hard worker/fast learner/etc.
6. I got fired from my last job (or “I left on bad terms”)
7. How important is it for me get to work exactly on time?
You can’t ask them “What does your company do?” because by now you should know what they do. You have to read the company’s website before an interview — and even before you launch a Pain Letter or reach out to the employer in some other way.
If you left your last job under trying circumstances it can be hard to remember that boss-bashing is not only a poor way to introduce yourself to a new acquaintance — your interviewer, specifically — but it’s also a stain on your sterling character.
Well-brought-up people don’t cast aspersions on other people, especially people who are not in the room. You may have been terribly mistreated at your last job and no one could blame you for being upset, but it is beneath you to bash someone behind their back — even a nasty former supervisor.