Sometimes interviews are hard, sometimes they’re scary. They can be less of either of those things if you know what you’re doing. Here are three tips to make interviews a little easier.
In the article, How Happy Do Weekends Actually Make Us? Bloomberg Business reports on a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research that found people who are happy at work, are just as happy during the week as they are on the weekends.
Imagine that. Experiencing equal measures of pleasure every day of the week instead of Monday Blues stretching out to Thank God it’s Friday, Fridays – followed by two days of trying to cram in as much fun as possible to break up the weekly drudgery.
People who genuinely like the people they work with and their work environment get as much pleasure from their weekdays as they do from their weekends. It makes sense. They look forward to interacting with people who inspire them, they thrive on the challenges of the day, they feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment from what they’re doing.
Running your own business might be the key to everyday happiness
For many, that seven day a week happiness comes from being an entrepreneur. In the article The Connection Between Entrepreneurship and Happiness from Inc, AJ Agrawal says the fulfillment entrepreneurs feel comes from relationships they’re able to forge and the opportunity for self growth.
The motivation to succeed isn’t coming from an external source it’s coming from within. The people entrepreneurs are working and interacting with everyday are the ones they’ve chosen to work with. People they look forward to developing strong ties with, who they trust, who inspire them.
“Working in the trenches with people you trust creates happiness. The constant obstacles you overcome and learn from create flow. And the journey of creating a company with people who look out for one another is what gives us happiness as entrepreneurs.”
Quoting a study by University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, the article, Rich or Not Entrepreneurs Are Happiest in Study, reports ,“Grads running their own businesses ranked themselves happier than all other professions, regardless of how much money they made.”
If work happiness is a by-product of environment and the people we spend our time with, then it makes sense that entrepreneurs would find personal satisfaction from what they’re doing. They’re the ones creating that environment. They’re the ones dictating who they’re working with. If there’s a particular situation or person they’re not happy with, entrepreneurs more than people who work for someone else have the opportunity to change it. Weekend or weekday, for many entrepreneurs, either one is equally satisfying.
Do you ever notice that some days simply run more smoothly than others? There’s less stress, doors seem to almost open by themselves, people seem a little nicer, more interested in you and more interesting. Do you know there are small tweaks you can use in your everyday interactions that will increase your chances of having one of those smooth days?
Throw a few of these (or all of them) into your daily mix and see if they make a difference in the silky smoothness of your day!
Use people’s names right away
As soon as you meet someone start using their name, they will immediately start feeling an affinity for you.
Not only will it save you tons of trial and error or online research time, asking questions is also good for relationship building. People like to be helpful. If they feel like their answers are helping you, they’ll like you for giving them the opportunity to help.
Learn by teaching
Once you’ve learned to do something new a great way to solidify what you’ve learned and to see how good you are, is to teach it to someone else. Your student will be a mirror of their teacher.
We don’t mean yoga flexible, we mean don’t always push for your own preferences. Give others’ ideas a full listen, accommodate yourself to the situation instead of pushing to have things exactly how you were expecting.
Getting people to agree to do something for you 1
There are a couple of things you can try here at opposite ends of the spectrum. One is to ask them to do something simple first, getting them into the flow of doing something for you.
Getting people to agree to do something for you 2
The other is to ask them to do something completely unreasonable, then when they say no, or balk at that, ask for what you really want.
Take a genuine interest in others
If you want to gain someone’s attention, one of the best things you can do is ask them about themselves. Keep the conversation going by asking more questions. They’ll like the fact that you care about them and it will set the foundation for future interactions.
Use stress for courage
Some of the symptoms of stress and courage, like increased breathing rate and increased heart rate are the same. So if you’re feeling stressed out, turn it around and tell yourself your body is getting ready to do something courageous.
Pay attention to body language
Want people to like you just a tiny bit more when they meet you? Look a little longer into their eyes. That extra second of looking into their eyes helps them open up to you a little bit more. Avoid unconscious I’m bored signals like crossing your arms or tapping your feet. Speaking of feet, when you’re talking to someone, take a quick look down at their feet. If the person is facing you, but their feet are pointed in the other direction, that’s the direction they want to go.
Waiting for an answer
Sometimes when you ask a question you only get a partial answer. Instead of walking away or pushing for more, just wait. If you keep eye contact, without saying anything more, a lot of the time people will keep on talking.
Keep up your energy and enthusiasm
Energy and enthusiasm are contagious. When talking to someone notice where your energy levels are and if they’re low, revv them up.
Assume everyone already likes you
Want to feel more confident? When you walk into a room or meet someone for the first time, assume they already like you. They’re likely to assume it right back.
Everyday we wake up with things that must get done, things we want to get done and things we wish we could get done. What is the most important thing you want to get done today?
When do you plan on doing it? After your coffee? After you’ve finished checking all your emails? After you clear through some stuff left over from yesterday?
If something must get done, then get it done. First. Don’t fret over it. Don’t put it off until later. Get it off your plate first thing.
By doing the most important thing on your to-do list first thing you know that everyday you have accomplished at least one thing you want to accomplish. By starting the day off right, you’ll put yourself in the groove to keep on doing right!
For now jobs might not be what you want to do long term, but that doesn’t mean you need to settle for miserable days. With the right attitude for now jobs can be fun.
Have you ever been stuck in an airport waiting for a delayed flight and there’s someone nearby who won’t stop complaining about the delay. You try and tune them out – really what can be done about terrible weather? But even with headphones on you can still hear them berating an airport employee.
Across from you, another passenger with headphones on catches your eye. They point their eyes to the annoying complainer and then roll their eyes. You chuckle a bit. Soon the two of you are conversing about your destinations and families.
The airport test is determining whether the person across from you is someone you wouldn’t mind spending time with if you are stuck at the airport.
How an interview is like the airport test
In an article for Mashable Meredith Pepin writes that “in addition to candidates having the qualifications and technical skills to do the job, the manager asked herself after each interview: “Would I want to be stuck in an airport with this person?” The Airport Test may not be obvious throughout the interview. You may be asked to tell the interviewer about yourself, or what you bring to the table, but during the interview, the hiring manager is trying to assess whether you’re someone they could be stuck in an airport with.
Are you the complaining passenger, or the one who strikes up a conversation?
Passing the Airport Test
The truth is, sometimes no matter what you do, your personality may not be a right fit for what the hiring manager is looking for; but there are some things you can do to give yourself the best chance at passing the Airport test.
Don’t be Afraid to Get Personal
Outside of the “Tell us about yourself” question, you tend to focus 100% on your skills, accomplishments and past work experience. After all, these skills are usually the things that got you the job interview in the first place. While your skills are important, don’t be afraid to share personal details as well. If you find an answer could give way to a short personal story, share it. You want to show that not only are you qualified, but also personable and interesting.
Personal, but Professional
If the hiring manager asks you what you did on the weekend, and on Friday night you were at a party, leave that out. Maybe you saw a new movie that came out, or went to a museum; even something as small as reading an article you found interesting are great things to share. They demonstrate your interests while remaining acceptable in a professional setting.
At the end of the interview, you’ll almost always be invited to ask your own questions. This is a great time to ask more about the company and the role you’re applying for. It’s also a great opportunity for you to bend the conversation to be a bit more personal. Asking the interviewer what they enjoy most about working for the company shows your interest in the company, but also gives you a chance to hear their feelings. You can assess whether or not you’d be okay being stuck in an airport with them!
No one wants to be unemployed, but most of us get stuck in unemployed land for a while. As much as you may not want to be there, there are ways to make the most of your time.
Appreciate the free time
Instead of moaning about having nothing to do, appreciate the time you have. Remember, once you get back into the working world, free time will be a lost friend you only ever see on weekends.
Work on backburner projects
Have you always said you want to write a book or some poems? Did you want to learn to play a musical instrument? Explore the bike trails in your neighborhood?
We’re not saying to abandon your job search. We are saying that won’t take up ALL of your time, so use what’s left to do the things you’ve always wanted to do!
When you’re unemployed and out of school, being social isn’t quite as easy as it is when you have a reason to see people every day. Since you’re not seeing them at class or at work, you need to actually organize times to get together with people.
Do not put this on the backburner or skip it! If you’re alone too long you might find yourself getting depressed for no reason.
Make friends with your local librarian
You know what else being unemployed is good for? Learning. While you have the time, get yourself to your local library and make a point of learning about things you’ve always wanted to know about. You can pick up some pretty handy skills from books – maybe something that will help you at your next job interview!
Remember not having a job can be kind of exciting! You get to look for something new. Soon you’ll meet new people and get to learn new things. Don’t get bogged down bythe uncertainty – get excited by it!