The Magic of Nailing that Face to Face Interview.

So yesterday I had my first face to face interview for quite a while, now we’ve already established that I am not the best at interviewing / talking over the telephone (see previous interview based posts), so this one needed to go well for the sake of my sanity.

On a slightly related note: recently I’ve got really into walking, I bought all of the clothes, the sports bra, the jazzy trainers – all with the target of reaching above my 10 000 steps a day average. Even more recently, I delved into the magic of Audio Books and the super force that is listening to Motivation Audio Books when walking to a target. I can highly recommend.

My first purchased audio book being:

THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG: Acquire the secrets of success. By David J Schwartz.

Which isn’t nearly as cringe-worthy as it sounds, I swear. After some thorough online research, I found an article listing the top recommended Motivational / Anti-Anxiety Audio Books, in which David J Schwartz was listed number 1.

Since purchasing on Friday I have eagerly listened to approximately ¾ of the 4 hour 14 minutes broadcast, and picked up a few useful pointers prior to Tuesday’s interview. I apologise if some of these read a little on the mundane / obvious side, but they really did help me:

  • Look at things as what they could be, not what they are.

In this instance – my interview was for a casual / temporary contact as a minimum-wage paid Visitor Services assistant, which doesn’t sound very inspiring does it? But what it could be is – a reference / experience / CV addition, working with the public during a one-off exhibit, a chance to meet new people, gain new skills and also a potential stepping stone towards a future career in Heritage Management and Education.

It would also look really really really good on my next Disney application 😉

  • Action cures fear.

In this instance – I have a terrible habit of psyching myself out prior to any new experience. I have been known to just “not show up” for voluntary jobs because I doubted the experience / myself too much. This mentality made sure I got up and dressed yesterday, got in my car, drove to the venue and then got out of the car and went to the interview. Do you know what? I had a great time and I’m so happy I did it.

  • Think you are weak, think you lack what it takes, think you will lose, think you are second class – think this way and you are doomed to mediocrity

In this instance – again, I pushed myself to think of the potential from this opportunity, why it was important and more importantly why I would be great at this job! I’m a likeable person, I may be a bit eccentric, talk a little too fast when I’m scared / excited, but I’m a great listener, I have a friendly face (so I’ve been told) and am genuinely enthusiastic about talking to people about the things they care about. I am a great candidate, they would be silly to not see that and no one deserves this opportunity (no matter how small) more than me.

  • Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.

This is pretty similar to the above statement, but I just really like it!

  • Then it dawned on me that no one else was going to believe in me until I believed in myself.

This quote resonated with me the most. It is very much worth remembering – I recommend you make a note.

A few other minor points which I took from the broadcast and used yesterday were:

  • To Smile – to smile from ear to ear, to smile so people can see your teeth. Smiling this large automatically boosts your mood, automatically boosting the moods of those around you.
  • Make eye contact – make the people you’re talking to feel as if they matter and that they have your upmost respect and attention.
  • Walk 25% faster than normal – people who walk a little faster ooze importance and confidence (this one also helps when collecting my daily steps!)
  • Similarly, pay attention to how you walk – walk upright, don’t slouch, don’t hide your hands, keep your head up, meet people’s eyes. All of these combined leave you more open, make you look more approachable and less foreboding.
  • Don’t leave the house until you’re confident with how you look – dress yourself the way you wish to be interpreted, if you’re confident with how you look, it will show. Dress smart, dress for the job you want and the person you want to be.
  • Acknowledge everyone, no matter who they are – pay close attention to everyone in your company, don’t think that you’re better than anyone else, as everyone plays their own fundamental role and deserve your respect.

So yesterday:

I dressed comfortably, wearing my favourite “smart” clothes, consisting of: a white collared blouse, my best black trousers, a tasteful blazer and black pumps, but carried my favourite bright orange bag – to show them I can be respectable, but also fun and memorable. When I entered the museum I made a point of smiling and saying Good Morning to the Admissions team as I passed, thanking them for giving me directions and wishing them a good day when I left. I walked a little faster, with my head held high to the meeting room, meeting the eye contact of every customer I passed and smiling. I stopped to smile and briefly converse with a group of primary school children on their school trip and complimented them on their very fancy period costumes.

Upon entering the meeting room and meeting my 3 interviewers I had a big smile on my face when I bid them Good Morning and introduced myself, proclaiming that I was “sorry I had arrived a little early” to draw attention to my punctuality, which is one of my best features in my opinion. Although the answers I gave to the questions asked could have been better rehearsed, I made sure I answered them honestly. I met each interviewers eye (depending on who was speaking at the time), I sat up straight and I smiled – lots. I showed them I had a good work ethic, drew attention to my successes in my current role, explained how I was used to heavy labour and pulling my weight at work, how I had no issues with late / early hours, that I lived nearby and have my own car and I made sure to ask about potential contract extensions. The atmosphere in the room was light, airy and comfortable and my personality synced well with theirs. I wished them Good Luck with the remainder of the interviews they had left to do that day, and that I looked forward to hearing from them again soon.

What I would usually deem as an uncomfortable, stressful experience, lasted a mere 7-8 minutes and I left feeling pretty confident and elated. Fast forward 27 hours and I received a phone call from one of my interviewers informing me that they would very much like to have me on their team.

Success all around I think!

Have a nice day guys, and remember to smile 😀

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