THE BLOG
10/15/2012 07:07 am ET

The Interview: Ask Noah

Q: I applied for my "dream" job, never in a million years expecting to get asked to interview for it. Now I have and I'm the most freaked guy on the planet! Historically, I suck at interviewing. I tend to freak, freeze and get tongue-tied...I can't screw up this chance, I'm telling you it's once in a lifetime, buddy! Please give me some pointers, I don't want to undermine myself this time; especially as this job was made for me!!

A: Breathe, sir.

They called you in for the interview. It makes their lives much easier if you are the right man for the job. Your nervous excitement is justified.

It is not anxiety. It is an illustration of your deep investment in this particular opportunity.

As this is an opportunity that you want to capitalize on, it's your job to be ultra-prepared for the interview. You can do this by simplifying the process, so you can utilize your justified excitement productively.

What to do with this anticipatory energy?

While interviewing, many potential candidates make the big mistake of feeling embarrassed about this energy. Instead of channeling it productively, they turn it inward.

They appear "frozen" or stiff as a board, and he/she becomes unable to communicate his/her positive characteristics, which would normally make them an excellent future employee.

My friend, you're not going to do that. You're going to be animated and filled with passion. But... Let's make that passion purposeful!

Here are the tips: (Keeping you focused and grounded!)

1. Talk about your past accomplishments.

Speak with sincerity and warmth regarding previous employment, try not to be cynical or glib. Embrace your past with positivity. No one wants to hire someone who talks badly about their last employer. Guess why? One day you might speak similarly of them.

2. Don't be afraid to ask your own questions.

Inquiring about the culture of the company and its organizational structure is a wise choice. Your genuine curiosity in their company will only help to inform the employer of your desire to comprehend their company as a whole. In this manner, you aren't simply trying to close the deal, you're trying to comprehend and visualize just how you might fit into the company's environment.

There's a brilliant added bonus to this method that serves to calm your nerves. When you stop doing all of the talking and start really listening, you can actually catch your breath, which calms any racing heartbeats or thoughts.

3. Remember, all things being equal, likeability really does matter.

Coming across as likable in an interview is not tricky. It's basic common sense which we sometimes lose when the spotlight gets too bright.

What do interviewers generally like?

  • They like someone who makes eye contact but is not trying to win a staring contest.
  • They like someone who can both listen and speak naturally.
  • They don't want to hear a monologue from someone relentlessly making their case for being hired.

Let your excitement, accomplishment and curiosity speak for itself.
I wish you the best of luck, my man!

Please send all questions to ASK NOAH at nskass@gmail.com

Have a profitable and peaceful week,

Noah

Originally posted on TheStreet.com -- 10/12/12.

For more by Noah Kass, click here.

For more on emotional intelligence, click here.