You finally got that email or phone call to come in for an interview. Now that the initial rush of joy has subsided, the nerves set in. A good interview is “all about preparation meeting the right attitude,” explains Laura DeCarlo, president of Career Directors International and author of Resumes for Dummies. “Do you really want to take the chance, go up for your dream job, and not get it just because you don’t know how to sell yourself in an interview?” Rhetorical question.
You know the basics — research the company, practice talking to yourself in front of a mirror, print extra copies of your résumé, nail down an outfit, show up 5 to 10 minutes early. Keeping your cool when the time actually comes? Not so easy. That’s where YouTube, home to public speaking coaches and yoga gurus, comes in. Scroll down for 10 viewing suggestions and job interview tips that’ll have you prepped, confident and ready to face whatever hardballs a potential manager lobs your way.
1. Knowing that we look our best is an instant confidence boost. In the context of interviews, that means neat, clean, polished and alert. And while we fully recommend, nay, insist that you get eight hours of sleep the night before any major interview, it’s also important that your face appear bright and bag-free. Enter professional makeup artist Caroline Barnes, who, in the following video, gives some helpful pointers for creating a clean, subtle, fresh-faced beauty look. (One caveat: We’d skip the eyeshadow portion of the how-to. Your makeup should be flattering, but understated.)
2. During interviews — and especially during phone interviews — it’s important that your voice be enthusiastic and engaging, not flat. Much like a firm handshake, a dynamic tone and pitch communicate enthusiasm and energy. Of course, stress — or even just rusty vocal chords — can make for shaky speech. Make sure your vocal quality is up to snuff by warming up like a professional singer before a gig. Now press play and give us a full, luxurious lip roll.
3. Sure, there are commonly asked questions and general rules of decorum, but there’s no real playbook when it comes to job interviews. We do know that, at some point during the process, we’re going to have to introduce ourselves. That’s where Dr. Laura Sicola comes in. Sicola holds the key to starting an interview off on the right foot. Want to exemplify the sort of person you’d want to work with? Have presence? Sound credible? The key is to be conscious of your rhythm and intonation patterns. (See? We told you that vocal warm-up would come in handy.) At approximately 8:07, Sicola shares the secret to a stellar first impression. Put that in your pocket; feel as if you’re holding an ace.
4. A truly great interview leaves both parties inspired and excited about the possibility of working together. Negativity bogs down the conversation. Speaking ill of former colleagues and jobs leaves potential employers wondering what you might say about them. Keep the conversation forward-looking and your language neutral to positive. Memorize Julian Treasure’s seven deadly sins of speaking; live by them; write them on a Post-it note, tack said note to your fridge. (Bonus: Like Sicola, Treasure also has some handy tone-related tips to follow.)
5. According to a study in Ohio, “When we sit up straight, we are more likely to remember positive memories or think of something positive in general.” Amy Cuddy elaborates on this idea of power posing. When wooing a potential manager, behaviors like swinging your feet will make you seem nervous. Crossing your arms comes across as defensive. Slouching your shoulders will make you seem meek, unsure. Cuddy breaks down the poses that will make you appear — and feel — your most confident, hirable self (and the science behind them). Experience the life-changing magic of, among other things, sitting up.
6. Employers understand that many of us — especially those applying for entry-level jobs — haven’t mastered the elusive art of how to relax during an interview. A certain amount of awkwardness is to be expected. Certain behaviors communicate dishonesty as opposed to nervousness, however. And so, while we’re on this body language kick, allow Pamela Meyer to instruct you on the various ways to spot a liar. Do you have a tick that makes you seem unreliable? Pinpoint it; quiet it. Meyer’s talk also holds another valuable lesson: Be authentic and honest about your interest in a company.
7. The lengthiest video on our list comes courtesy of Matt Abrahams, who teaches strategic communication at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. (We recommend taking in this one podcast-style at the gym or during a commute.) During interviews, you will be asked curveball questions. This will provoke anxiety. Abrahams introduces us to several anxiety-management methods along with techniques for responding articulately, thoughtfully and succinctly. (The secret? Follow a structure.) It’s 58 minutes very well spent and will leave you feeling pumped and ready to bat for team you.
8. Relieve stress — and trigger a positive-thought-inducing dopamine release — by fitting in a workout the day before your interview. (Pro tip: Combining meditation with running has been shown to effect greater improvements in mood than running alone.) That morning, keep things moving, but opt for a less vigorous activity. Yoga (perhaps you’ve heard of it?) is a relatively mild, meditative activity that’ll quiet your pre-interview jitters, get your creative juices flowing, help you feel comfortable inside yourself and (if practiced regularly) even enhance your memory, some say. We like this routine by YouTube yogi Adriene Mishler. It features several of those energy-harnessing power poses, which Mishler pairs with confidence-building mantras like “I am bold. I got this.” And yes, it somehow avoids the cheese factor. Namaste.
9. Not to spout clichés, but a job interview is but one unpredictable stretch on the highway that is your path to fulfilling employment. It’s important to remember that these meetings aren’t just about a potential employer sussing out your character and capabilities. You’re essentially entering into a relationship with this person, this company. You want to make sure the experience will add value (aside from the obvious monetary kind) to your life. Chris Bailey’s tale is a reminder that a specific job offer isn’t the be-all and end-all of your existence.
10. This last video is (for the most part) unique to you. Studies have shown that listening to your favorite music actually triggers dopamine release. “You’re following these tunes and anticipating what’s going to come next and whether it’s going to confirm or surprise you, and all of these little cognitive nuances are what’s giving you this amazing pleasure,” states neuroscientist Dr. Valorie Salimpoor. See where we’re going with this? Before you hit the road for your interview (well in advance of its start time, of course), cue up your favorite #tb music video and dance away your doubts. Science says so.