Job interviews mark the ending period of your search, and after that comes negotiation and accepting an offer. I typically advise that clients keep going with their career search until they have a formal offer. Why count your chickens before they've fully hatched? Having more than one offer can also increase your bargaining power, something I spoke about here.
Not getting the job you want can be disheartening, and that's why I wanted to share two things you should never do before an interview.
1. Unnecessarily raise your stress levels
A level of nervousness is to be expected, but you don't want to do things that cause unnecessary stress.
Here are three common things that will do that:
- Arriving late
- Have a bad night's sleep
Sleep is responsible for recharging our brains and memories and replenishing our energy.
- Preparing too late or realizing that you're not prepared
Interviews require practice, especially when you haven't had one for a while, or you're changing industries and job functions by making a career change.
According to WebMed, here are some signs of stress:
- Racing thoughts or constant worry
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Problems with your memory or concentration
- Making bad decisions
- Pain or tension in your body or muscles
Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, and former professor at Harvard Business School, did a study which showed that those who held high-power poses for two minutes saw a 25 percent decrease in cortisol levels and a 20 percent increase in testosterone levels. Those who held low-power poses saw a 15 percent increase in cortisol levels and a 10% decrease in testosterone levels.
Power pose before an interview
Before the interview, put your body through a series of 'power poses.'
2. Entertain the thought that you can't do the job
Imposter syndrome can get the best of us, sometimes, but if they didn't think you could do the job, you wouldn't be at this stage. When we doubt our abilities and worth, we often overshare, and that's where we start to ramble. According to a survey from Glassdoor featuring 750 hiring decision-makers in the United States and the United Kingdom, 88% of hiring managers say that an informed candidate is the most impressive attribute. The study found that informed candidates display the following characteristic's:
- Being prepared for the interview and asking pertinent questions
- Demonstrating the right experience
- Having the right expectations about compensation and benefits
- Being knowledgeable about the job role
- Knowing about the organization's culture and values
Focus on being informed and weaving in the following attributes to show your growth mindset instead of doubt:
- How far you're willing to go to address challenges
- Your ability to not be wounded by constructive criticism
- Personal characteristics like being innovative and adaptable
- Your love of learning
Thorough interview preparation is a key part of your job search and career change. Don't overlook that, and you'll avoid these two things.
Originally published on Forbes.com.