Saturday, November 3, 2007

Job Interview Tips

I don't know anyone who likes to go on job interviews. Any interview can be stressful and exhausting, but none are quite as stressful as the interview loop. An interview loop is like a marathon of interviews, and for a designer it can include a group presentation, 2-3 one on one interviews that might include a white board problem. Some companies even include a problem solving portion that must be presented back to the group. If that isn't an exhausting day, I don't know what is! When people get tired, they start to get cranky and the ol' bean doesn't function at an optimal level.

Here are some tips to keep your energy up and attitude positive.

Pack your pocket with almonds. Munch a few throughout the day as necessary. This will provide your body with a ready source of calories. Thinking consumes calories. Your thoughts are actually little electric sparks in your brain that connect different chunks of info together. I am sure everyone has experienced a brain drain when they are hungry, only to be revived after eating a little snack.

Avoid coffee and sugar. Caffeine and sugar are great for a temporary boost, but it doesn't last long and can leave you feeling worse than before. It is better to go for something that your body can break down slowly and provide a steady stream of energy, like whole nuts or grains.

Energize with exercise between interviews. There are a few discrete exercises you can perform to wake yourself up or shake off sluggishness.
  • Run your hand up and down the entire length of each arm 7 times. This will increase blood flow and wake you up, guaranteed.
  • Clasp your hands in front of your chest. Press and hold them together for 30 seconds or so. Repeat this a few times.
  • Place your hands infront of you like you're going to clap but keep them about 10 inches apart. Then make the clapping motion vigorously but don't actually let your hands touch. It kind of looks like you're flapping some wings or banging your ears. This one looks a little strange, so I wouldn't do it with anyone around.
Enjoy yourself and have fun. If you're having fun you will be more confident and it won't be hard to keep a good attitude. The people interviewing you will probably like you. If they like you, they will probably want to work with you and overlook a few things that they might not otherwise. Even if you don't get the job, they might refer you to a job that would be a better fit. Trust me, I speak from personal experience here.

No Pressure. This one depends on your personality and what motivates you best but I've found that if I remember that there are other jobs out there, I will enjoy the process more and allow myself to take risks. I am not suggesting that you act like you don't want the job or don't care, only that you realize that while this interview represents an amazing opportunity, there are many more opportunities out there for you.

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