Acting “as if” can help you achieve success. I remember stories about children learning how to play tennis. Before a tennis racket was ever put into the students’ hands, they were asked to imagine the ball hitting the racket, landing in the box on the other side of the court, and being returned to them. And they would do that for an hour each day, for weeks at a time, before a racket was ever put into their hands.
Acting as if they were playing tennis allowed them to see the game very well. The same is true with interviewing. If you prepare well and you act as if you’re a confident person, even if you are not if you act as if you have a confident or commanding presence (depending upon what is required), even if that’s not your history, it will serve you very well.
Also, imagining the interview from the interviewer’s point of view gets us out of our heads. For example, when you’re networking, you may get nervous. I did at first. It was only when I put myself in the shoes of the other person and just started to ask them about things that interested them that the pressure was lifted. I no longer had to think, “Oh, I have to be a certain way.” It was leaving my world and entering into their world that seemed to help a lot.
Do the same in an interview. You can even start with the first question. Don’t wait for them to ask it. As you’re both sitting down after getting acquainted, take the lead and say, “So tell me about the position that you have in mind here and what I can be doing to make your job easier.”
That way, they can speak to you first about what’s needed as opposed to playing verbal tennis with yet another applicant. You know what I mean by verbal tennis– they ask a question. You reply; they ask another question; you reply. Basically, through this question, you are asking them, “What’s the problem here that I might help you with? What sort of issues are you facing that you’re looking to solve with this new hire?” Isn’t that a great question to ask?
This is an empowering way to begin because you’re getting the answer about where you should be targeting all your responses. It’s almost like you’re test marketing them.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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