The holidays are at their end and you’re settling back into the way things were pre-festivities. If you’re getting back into the job search, you may begin to notice similarities between the family members you’ve recently been spending so much time with and the interviewers you will begin to meet. Before you sit down at the interview desk, remember how you handled those crazy family members around your holiday table.
The Nosy Aunt
During the holidays she pressed you about your personal relationships and gave constant updates on her own health. Think of this in the same way you would an interviewer who is focusing on all of your work habits, down to the miniscule ones. They want to see if you’re a great culture fit in order to see how you would best fit in to the company. Make sure you’ve done your research before your interview and ask questions about their culture and work environment to show that this matters to you too.
Your talent with kids landed you a seat at the kids table. They begged you for macaroni, to be picked up and to play games. You handled it all with poise and made the kiddos feel comfortable. Likewise, if you notice your interviewer is looking a little nervous, work to make him or her feel comfortable. Lead the conversation to highlight your skills and be sure that the interviewer understands that you can make any situation better, especially in the workplace.
The Suit-up Uncle
He wants to know what your goals are and when you plan on reaching certain milestones. When an interviewer starts asking these questions, there is more reason for their interest than just curiosity. The interviewer wants to know if your ideals and plans match the company culture and are curious about your goals for the future in terms of their vision. Be prepared with answer that demonstrates that you’ve thought this through, and that this position fits with and will help you achieve your long term goals.
The New In-Law
This person can be a little uncomfortable and overly helpful. If you think they are trying to steal your job of setting the table, remember, they have no idea whose job is whose. The interviewer equivalent is the one who is either uneasy about the hiring of a new employee or uncertain of their role in the process. This is your chance to be calm, collected and friendly. Let the interviewer know that while you are qualified for the position, you believe in the company and the structure.
While you’re not forced to put up with your interviewer the same way you are your family, being able to adapt to many personality types is a valuable quality, not only in interviewing, but also once you’ve joined a new company. So the next time you’re sitting across an interviewer that reminds you of one of your zany family members, just take a deep breath, and remember, if you can handle Uncle George, you can handle this interview.