Interview Wisely!


By Amy Dorn Kopelan
2014 ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference Breakout Session Speaker

Executive Producer, Bedlam Productions Inc.

How many people confide in a friend before an interview that they have butterflies in their stomach? Almost everyone you know? You probably understand just what they’re feeling because you’ve had the same experience.

You actually prepped for all the questions you thought the interviewer might ask, you rehearsed in front of the mirror or with a colleague, you did your research about the company. But still, be honest, you’re feeling nervous about how that interview is going to go!

Maybe you’re approaching the whole process backwards. Maybe you could relax and even enjoy the interview if you knew how to interview wisely. And wisely means that you take charge of the interview instead of the other way around. Think of it as wise versus prepared. Prepared is what I talked about above. But wise is learning to control the room by creating a more relaxed and comfortable environment so you can talk to the interviewer in a way that feels more authentic and natural. When you set the tone in the room and approach the interview with confidence, having a conversation about your talents is so much easier.

Here’s the secret to all of this; you should be the one asking the questions! Does it sound crazy? Well, it’s not. Learn the job interview questions and answers that put control and ease into your hands and then practice them. Role-playing is a great way to off-set any fears you may have about the whole process. Asking questions is a powerful tactic. Once you introduce enough of your own questions, you actually level the playing field and consequently reduce your level of stress. The wise part in all of this is your intention to create a “relationship” instead of a situation infiltrated with hierarchy. Why does it work? Because the more the interviewer talks, and you get h/her to talk, the more h/she believes it was a great interview. And the more interested in you the interviewer becomes.

Here are some tips:

  • The best questions for you to ask are about the company, its culture, and the expectations for filling the new job.
  • Interviewing wisely, remember, is about dialogue that positions you as an inquisitive, informed, and accomplished person who has options and ideas.
  • You might pose questions such as: “What kind of person would succeed well in this company?” Or, you can ask more specifically about the job with an inquiry such as: “Who in this department will be making the final hiring decision and what is your time frame for that?”
  • Remember you are always being “interviewed.” Be constantly conscious of your presence and actions even when you are not officially interviewing for your next role.
  • With smart questions, you show you are the wisest candidate for the job.

In my “Your life is always an interview!” breakout session at the 2014 ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference, I look forward to sharing the coolest tools, tips and language for developing a personal marketing pitch and approaching interview situations of any type you may come across in both your professional and personal life. Your next exciting opportunity might be right around the corner!