It’s understood that when it comes to academics, there are some individuals who just aren’t great at testing. It’s no indicator of their intelligence, skillset, or knowledge, but when it comes time to show what they’ve got…they choke up. It’s frustrating because there is this huge obstacle standing in their way of their goals that really doesn’t have to do with their ability to achieve them. It can be true of so many things, like how some of the most talented musicians in the world freeze up during an audition. When there’s no pressure on the skill, they thrive, but once an opportunity is on the line, they flop. For people like this, they not only have to get better at showcasing their skills when the time comes, but they also have to be strategic about what they do in the days and moments leading up to the test/audition/recital, and the days after. The very same can be said of job interviews.
You may be the most adept computer programmer or math teacher or marketing strategist, but when you have to prove yourself to get those positions, you get nervous, and you do things that can jeopardize the opportunity. It’s time to embrace that in addition to whatever your expertise is, there is one more skill everyone must acquire, and that’s nailing the interview process. We say process because it’s about more than those 20 minutes with the interviewer. The result depends highly on what you do before the interview, as well as some of what you do after. We spoke to Watchen Nyanue (pictured below) about what to do (and not do) before and after an interview. Nyanue is the Vice President of Marketing Partnerships for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, and the CEO of I Choose The Ladder. She has tremendous experience in coaching women through climbing the career ladder.
Know what will give you anxiety
After we leave an interview, we’re often plagued by thoughts like, “I wonder how long it will take them to get back to me” or “I wonder if I’ll hear either way, or only if I got the job.” Nyanue recommends sitting down, in advance of the conversation, and considering what questions, like those, might drive you crazy if you don’t have answers to them. And then it’s simple: ask them in the interview. Nyanue assures us that it’s perfectly normal to ask the interviewer questions such as, “When will I hear back?” and “Where are you in the interview process?” Remember that if they’re doing several rounds of interviews, and you were in round one, you may not hear back for a while.