I’ve come a long way since that first call. I’d even go so far as to say that I now look forward to conducting interviews. How’d I make the shift? Read on to learn my secret and the interview tips I’ve picked up along the way.
I’ve been labeled shy and quiet my whole life, so it’s no surprise I’ve never been big on conversation—but if there’s one thing I’ve always excelled at, it’s asking questions. When faced with the dreaded silent pause in small talk, my go-to maneuver is to fire off a slew of them. The more the other person in a conversation talks, the less I have to, and the experience becomes much more informative (not to mention enjoyable).
Somewhere into my third or fourth interview, I felt myself start to relax and enjoy hearing the story of a dog who loved diving into pools. That’s when one the most important interview tips I’ve ever discovered hit me: All I was really doing was having a conversation. Better yet, it was my favorite kind, where I could ask all the questions and hear some very interesting answers.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still get a little nervous before interviews, but now it’s nervous excitement instead of dread. As a storyteller, I look forward to discovering new stories so I can share them with others. If I do start to feel jittery, all I have to do is remind myself that it’s just a little small talk.
Much like playing a sport or learning an instrument, the more you practice interviewing, the more you learn. Here are three of the best interview tips I’ve picked up from experience:
If you bomb an interview, it’s not the end of your career. This may seem obvious, but when you’re faced with an embarrassing moment, it can be easy to get down on yourself. Bad interviews happen, no matter how experienced you are—and if your interview goes south, the important thing is that you learn from your mistakes, shake it off, and move forward.
Recently I had a phone interview scheduled that I felt fairly confident I was prepared for—until the interviewee called me an hour early. I scrambled to turn off the television and find my notes, all while fumbling through introductions. Needless to say, it wasn’t my smoothest moment—but it taught me a valuable lesson in preparation. I now set up my work space well in advance so I’m ready for any surprises.
Push past your comfort zone and you’ll be rewarded, not only with great material, but also with personal confidence in your career. Use these interview tips to take your work to new heights when you join Skyword’s community of contributing writers.