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8 Unnecessary Scary Thoughts Most People Have During A Job Interview

8 Unnecessary Scary Thoughts Most People Have During A Job Interview

What happens if you forget one of your best prepared answers in the job interview? This is just one of the many scary thoughts you may have beforehand. When it actually happens, it is even more heart stopping. Other scary thoughts during the interview could really put you off your performance so let us have a look at these and look at the best way of dealing with them. Negative thoughts can rear their ugly heads during the interview but if you are well prepared, you can easily banish these and move on.

1. I have made a bad first impression

So, your handshake was a bit limp or just far too forceful?  Maybe you are so nervous that your mouth is already dry and you lost your usual poise when you entered the room. Time to move on because there is a lot to be done and you can easily recover from these minor setbacks. The interviewers’ perceptions were probably completely different anyway.

But for the next time, remember to wipe your hands before entering and also aim for a firm handshake and maintain eye contact.

2. I am taking too far too long to answer the questions

Interviewers do not expect rapid, flash answers because they can give the impression of being far too smart and even superficial. They also might give the impression of something learned off by heart, especially if it does not match exactly what was asked. So, let us get this into perspective:

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  • You cannot predict or prepare all the answers.
  • Interviewers do expect you to think about the questions before plunging in.
  • Reflection can be positive.

The solution is to play for time by asking for clarification. You might not be sure or you may need more details. You can also choose to answer partially, then jump in and ask the clarifying question. This is much better than waffling on. Also bear in mind that some questions may be deliberately ambiguous so that asking for clarification means that you are thoughtful and on the ball.

3. I am too nervous

During the interview, an attack of nerves can be very upsetting. Most of these problems need to be addressed before the interview. Try these hacks for the next time:

  • Reduce nerves by being well prepared.
  • Arrive early.
  • Learn breathing techniques to practise before being called in.
  • Run your wrists under cold water in the restroom when you arrive at the venue. This does help and also try dabbing this water behind your ears.
  • Reduce fidgeting by keeping a copy of your CV in your hand.
  • Sit comfortably so that correct breathing is facilitated.

4. I am not up to speed on the company’s mission

If you suddenly feel that there are some gaps in your knowledge, then you should have prepared more carefully. Here are some standard tasks that you need to do beforehand:

  • Research the company fully.
  • Familiarize yourself with their products, mission, projects and policies.
  • Study the job description again and make sure that your skills match the duties and prepare for some likely questions.
  • Study their publicity and brochures.

5. I cannot remember these people’s names

You may be given the names of the interviewers beforehand. One way to avoid a memory lapse is to make sure that you have researched their careers and any other notable features about them. You have seen their photos on the Linked In profiles so it will be easier to match the name and the face when the time comes. This also helps you to engage with the interviewer very quickly.

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6. I am unable to answer some of the tough questions

Questions about leadership, mundane work, weaknesses, and ambitions can really throw you. They can ask you how you define success or why you have been in a job for such a short time or even a long time. The list is endless. But preparation will stand you in good stead here. Study these questions and answers here from a well known recruitment agency in the UK.

7.  I can’t do this

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson

All too often, you may feel that the negative thoughts are getting the upper hand and this can be disastrous for your performance. They can distract you and cause you to give wrong or careless answers.

Keeping your thoughts positive and upbeat is the best possible way of being successful. This has been proved over and over again. In addition, sitting upright is not just a matter of looking good. It can assist in maximizing your breathing and helping you to remain confident, relaxed and optimistic.

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8. I cannot stand this silence

Very often, there are silent moments towards the end of an interview and these can be awkward for you. Traditionally, the request for questions about the company will come at this point. Make sure you have plenty of questions up your sleeve.

However, there will be other moments when it may not be so easy to fill the vacuum. As regards what salary you are expecting, this can often result in silence. One technique is to respond with a question, such as: ‘What salary range were you thinking of for this post?’  As regards remaining in touch, you can ask about who will initiate the next contact after the interview.

As we have seen, scary thoughts need not be the protagonists at your interview. Preparing well can eliminate most of these, although everyone will be nervous to some extent.

How have you coped with interview nerves and scary thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

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Featured photo credit: Interview/Alan Cleaver via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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