In a presidential debate, much like in a job interview, candidates are trying to impress their audience in a race to be the best. However, while in the US election case, candidates are competing for millions of votes, in a job interview, you probably only need to impress one person or a small group of people – so don’t be so hard on yourself.
As we all saw in the debates, preparation is key, but so is the way you present yourself, and also how confident you are, or rather, how confident you seem.
Think Before You Speak
In a job interview, just like in the debate, though you can’t predict exactly what questions will be asked, you do have an idea of what your interviewer wants to know about you and your work experience; so be prepared.
Rehearse a few sentences in advance, this will help you remember to talk about your most important strengths and why you would be a great fit for the job. But don’t sound like a machine – listen carefully to the questions, and then shape your answers in a way that is natural but still includes crucial information.
If you are pleasant, can keep the conversation going, and manage to talk expertly about relevant skills and challenges you’ve faced professionally, and how you dealt with them, there are no reasons why they wouldn’t hire you.
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, and when trying to seem confidence while nervous, candidates might come across as arrogant or rude. The best way to show you are approachable is by smiling. You don’t have to smile the whole time, of course, but remind yourself that your interviewers are just people, and maybe think of the fact that you don’t need hundreds of millions of votes to get the job – and relax.
Remember to make eye contact, and keep your answers short and sweet. Even if you need to talk about a particular experience or challenge and what you did to overcome it, you don’t want the interviewer to ask you to wrap up, so be concise.
Whether or not you are happy with the 2016 US presidential election results, there are skills and attributes to admire and learn from both candidates, so take inspiration from them, and go get that job!