How awkward is it when you walk into an interview and feel as if every action that you make is under surveillance? For many applicants, the interview becomes this holy grail of a moment that is so over hyped and anticipated that the end result is complete failure due to nervousness. Why do you think the number one recommendation is to relax?
Your first priority when you walk into an interview is to break the ice. There are a dozen different ways that you can do this, and though they all may work, not all are appropriate for an interview setting.
- Establish some type of commonality.
The interviewer will almost always ask you to tell them a bit about yourself. This is your chance to establish a common ground; do a quick scan around the office when you first enter for anything that may show a hobby or interest. Things like a wedding ring, pictures, trophies, etc.
If the interviewer is married, for example, you can establish a connection that way. If you are married, you might say something like “Well, my wife/husband and I are really working on , and both her/him and I are excited about some new opportunities that we are approaching – this job being one of them”; if you aren’t married, you might say something like “I’m currently focusing on my career and I’m looking to move into a position that I can hold on to, perhaps even move up with later. A few months ago some of my close friends got married and I realized that it was time for me to get serious with my career and with my life. I haven’t looked back since.”
The interviewer will be able to relate to both scenarios quite easily, and both scenarios show strong moral character. Why wouldn’t they want to hire you?
- Make a small joke about yourself. If the person that is interviewing you makes a few small jokes at the beginning of the interview you may break the ice by making a comical comment or joke about yourself. Just keep it clean. In the past I’ve used one old favorite: “Yea, sometimes I get mixed up first thing in the morning. I can’t even count how many times I’ve nearly boiled myself in the shower.”
- If you’re feeling bold, ask them what they want you to be. This one can go either way, so don’t say anything if your interviewer seems conservative. When they ask you to tell them a bit about yourself, say something like “Well, I’ll be whatever I’m supposed to be to get this job. In all seriousness, what can I really say? I’m a hardworking, honest, typical person who’s looking for a stable job. Oh, and I enjoy painting.”The interviewer may respond to your cheeky/blunt comment. It shows that you’ve got guts and that you are confident, which is always a quality that an employer is looking for.
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