Heather Hamilton posted this lengthy piece on how to come across as confident in an interview without seeming “jerky.”
If you don’t have the time to read it – though you really should – I’ll pass along it’s three most compelling insights at no charge to you!
- Acknowledge the contribution of your colleagues, co-workers, and collaborators early and often.
- Acknowledge the challenges you’ve faced, and how you’ve overcome them, frankly and factually.
- Don’t take the interviewer’s questions or demeanor at face value.
This last one deserves some comment as it is composed of two separate points Heather makes. Firstly, she recommends considering the “why” behind the questions being posed before formulating your answer. Why would someone ask you to describe your greatest weakness? Are they plumbing the depths of your honesty and self-awareness? Or are they just looking for a good reason not to hire you? (Heather insists that latter is not the case.)
Secondly, she points out that sometimes interviewers use “tactics” to draw out candidates. She provides the example of an interviewer who frequently interrupts the candidate in order to see how they handle “challenging interpersonal situations.” Another example might be an interviewer who is looking for you to “drop your guard” by adopting a fairly casual, friendly attitude. Of course, sometimes the interviewer is just being herself.
Interviewing for jobs can be SO complicated and scary! OMG!