Dave Jensen wrote:By caring a bit less, you might find yourself listening more instead of sitting there worrying. I remember interviews where I sat in rapt attention as if listening to the interviewer, but in reality I was trying to guess what he or she was going to ask me next, and visualizing how I would answer and so forth. In other words, not listening! When you care a bit less about the outcome, you listen better. And listening is what enables you to truly see how you fit into the picture. Answer truthfully, be yourself, and don't go into the interview with a bunch of prepared questions right out of books like "100 Snappy Answers to Tough Interview Questions" (Yes, there are such books. Avoid them.)There's a certain factor that I'm writing about this month, others call it the "It factor" -- and that stems from how some up-and-comers are described . . . the manager says, "Let's hire her -- she's got it, she's the one for us." What's "It" anyway? Oftentimes, it's just the way that this person listens and responds without anxiety to the question and in the confidence he or she exudes during the interview. Even a bad interview is something you can learn from -- once you get home, think about what you could have done different, how you could have responded more naturally and with less stress, and remember the next time to care a bit less about the outcome!
This is a great question and Dave's advice is right on the mark. I find caring a bit less and being prepared calms the anxiety. Find a networking group or friend to help out. More often, interviewers are asking more behavioral questions to find people they think will be well liked by the team. Since most interviewers are not psychologists or professional interviewers, these questions are often delivered horribly or entirely inappropriate, often provoking a negative emotional reaction. However, you can't show any anger towards the interviewer for a stupid question. Let me give you example, you are interviewing for a capital equipment sales position and it is minutes before the final interview, the HR director enters the room at corporate headquarters pointing to your resume and states "Your scientific accomplishments are significant and great but how does this relate in helping us build our brand as a leader in <scientific field> with our primary client in this territory and close sales with experts in <scientific field> at this university." This wasn't a question but rather a statement.
Here is some background information. I worked for their primary client for eight years and brought 12 years expertise in the field as well as practical experience working with the equipment and that of their competitors. Further, I knew many if not all the experts in the field at this university and had several publications demonstrating that expertise. I interviewed with a total of 12 people, six before being invited to their corporate headquarters. I spoke with the supervisor twice and had a good rapport with him. He told me that he would follow up in 2 weeks. I felt like saying to the obtuse HR director: "What do think I have been doing or conveying in the last 12 interviews?"
The HR director didn't give me a real chance to respond and I let the statement go unanswered. In hindsight, I should have responded or at least asked to speak with the hiring manager before leaving the corporate office. I have a tendency not to respond well or think straight when challenged with behavioral question of this nature. Often I feel interrogated; thinking - stick to the qualifications and their relevancy to the position not this BS.
In the end, they hired a marketing major with no scientific expertise whose experience was a sales manager for a four star restaurant in Dallas, TX. Apparently, in my mind, scientific expertise is irrelevant to selling a highly technical piece of scientific equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to several million. Or the female HR director had a agenda or bias against me.
So, how would have you addressed the HR director's concerns? How would you prepare for these behavioral questions or stress questions in order to lower the your anxiety (or not get caught like a deer in the headlights) when they arise?