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The job interview starts when you wake up

Interviewing for a new job can sometimes be an arduous, annoying task. You have to leave work for a period of time, giving you anxiety because your current employer may find out. You spend a significant number of hours researching the company and your potential coworkers. And, most importantly, you have to perform. A job interview is not just an evaluation of your skills and credentials, it is an examination of your personality and whether you come off as a person who is going to jive well with your manager and the company culture. 

In many respects, an interview is a performance. You turn on your acting skills and deliver a broadway-ready show. It’s hard. Sometimes you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, other times you just read a nasty text from your spouse right before the interview. With all the time involved in the application process, including finding the job, submitting your resume and cover letter, readying your portfolio samples, it’s easy to become exhausted when you actually get to the most important part: the interview itself. 

With the importance of performing during the interview being paramount, it’s better to turn your game face on well before the start of it. For instance, before a recent interview I encountered the hiring manager in the lobby as I was trying to figure out if I was in the right building. During the interview, when I realized it was he that I ran into, I wondered to myself: Did I seem happy? Was I nice to him? Did I have my usual grumpy morning face on? Ut, oh. 

Therefore, a good rule of thumb when interviewing is this: the job interview starts when you wake up. Put your game face on first thing in the morning. Speak clearly. Stand up straight. Iron your clothes to military precision. Why? Because you never know whom you may encounter along the way. It’s terrible to think that you could jeopardize hours of research and preparation just because some not-so-cheerful barista at Starbucks failed to smile when you approached and got you tick’d.

Get your game face on early. Nail that interview. It’s yours. Go get it.