The Job Interview: A Relationship

You might feel anything between mild jitters to flat out dread as you anticipate a job interview. You may wonder if you’ll sound stupid, if you’ll stutter, if the interviewer will approve of you as a human being.

But a job interview isn’t an evaluation. It’s a relationship.

Both of you need something. You are there to negotiate whether it sounds like your valuable skills and energy will help them accomplish something that’s important to them.

You are peers. They wouldn’t be talking to you if they weren’t impressed.

“But will I live up to expectations?” That’s the wrong question. What’s more important for you to ask is: How can I add something positive to this person’s day?

Pay attention to the emotional climate as the two of you talk. If you’re intrigued, that’s a good sign. Do you like this person? Or not so much? Do you feel some excitement? Does the interviewer seem to feel some excitement? Or, is something not quite right?

You really don’t want to give them the wrong person for the job. That would serve no one. Do that and you’ll find yourself stuck in a situation that drains your energy. You could be off doing something that suits you, and doing it well. Instead, you’d have to do work you’re not cut out for. That would wear down your confidence and you’d start to feel that you really don’t have too much to offer. At the inevitable next job interview you’d feel even more insecure.

You also wouldn’t be giving them what they deserve.

You will have a relationship with the person interviewing you, maybe brief, maybe long term. This meeting of two people is what is important, not trying to package and sell yourself.

Take this opportunity to extend good will to this other person, not so that they’ll like you and give you a job but because they deserve it. You deserve the good feeling you’ll get by giving them the little gift of wishing them well.

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