As most of us know from experience, job interviews can be quite stressful both for the candidate and an interviewer. If you are currently looking for a new job or are simply curios to hear about recruitment process from a candidate perspective – read on, as I am about to share my trick techniques I have successfully applied throughout the interviews to calm my nerves and handle some difficult situations that were absolutely out of my control.
Do you know why many career advisers tell you it is a good practice to arrive 10-15 minutes early for your job interview? It is not only to be polite.
Imagine, you arrive at the office reception and there is a long line waiting for something to happen. As you try to cut the line to understand this situation, the stressed and busy receptionist shouts at you and sends you back at the end of the line. True story, it happened to me once. Don’t you feel nervous already? Now it looks like you have to wait, meaning, you are already late for your interview. What a good first impression to make! Naturally, you would want to pull out your phone and call the interviewer. But it turns out you do not have the number to let her know you are sort of stuck in traffic. It is quite common to arrange first interview invitations through emails sent to you by an HR representative stating the name and title of your interviewer without any contact information. While you are stuck waiting and already slightly stressed, you realize it would be a good idea to use the bathroom before your interview begins. Even if you do not have to go, visit the room anyway! I will share my little secret with you, bathroom is a magic room I practice my power (victory) pose for 45 seconds. There are lots of studies that prove the benefits of this pose, but as I prefer to speak from experience, it helps to calm down and feel empowered.
Let’s get back in the line. It is finally your turn and the receptionist makes the call to announce your arrival. Now you have to wait for the manager to come down and pick you up. Once that happens, you probably step by the kitchen area to pick up some water. Usually you are offered something to drink, but in case this does not happen, do not hesitate to ask for it yourself. First benefit of this tiny trick, this is the moment to start your small talk conversation and showcase your interpersonal skills. Also, it helps to ease into the interview quite naturally. Second, it is most likely you are the one to do most of the talking about your previous experiences and yourself. If you are not a frequent speaker, there is a chance your throat will go dry during the interview and you might want to refresh it from time to time. Third tip, you can equally test the interpersonal skills of your interviewer. Let me elaborate on that. I was once left at the kitchen while getting some water and had to find my way back to the meeting room all by myself. Was I tested on my navigation skills? Perhaps. But since we are talking of first impressions, I did not think we would be a good team. Teammates do not leave one another behind. And in terms of cyber security, I better not comment on that at all.
Finally, to answer the question of why arrive earlier, I can tell you that all that waiting and practical logistics have already lost you some 10-15 minutes that are taken from your valuable time. The interviewer has other things on her agenda, so it is your time that is going to be cut short. Time that is preserved specifically for you to shine, leave an impression, and be remembered as the candidate who was calmly talking about his past experiences, and confidently arguing why you should be hired for this job.