Heading into a Job Interview? Relax. Seriously.
In the classic movie La Femme Nikita, a young secret agent-in-training takes lessons in poise and comportment from her aristocratic mentor. “Smile when you walk into a room, dear,” says the mentor. “It relaxes those around you. And it elevates the features of the face.”
Friendliness matters. Genuine warmth is magnetic, no matter the context. But for job seekers, the key word—often overlooked– is “genuine”. Contrary to some popular wisdom, job interviews don’t require lessons in classic Shakespearean acting. When you always tell the truth, you don’t have to work as hard to remember what you said, and just as honesty simplifies our lives, it can simplify the job hunt process as well. When you present yourself for an interview, your feelings, whatever they are, are legitimate, human, and real. The statements on your resume are true and present an honest record of where you’ve been and what you’ve learned. The natural expression of your face, the tenor of your voice and your posture are all reflections of you: A qualified candidate and the hero of your own story. Trust yourself.
The only way to become genuinely expansive, relaxed, open, and friendly is to shed the fear that makes us close down and roll up into a tight ball of mumbling, sweaty self-consciousness. Fear turns us into liars, and fearful liars can’t focus on other people because they’re too worried about themselves and too worried about getting caught. Fear nothing. Enjoy the adventure of your own life. When you start having a good time come what may, then the people around you will relax as well. Your true personality will emerge, as will theirs. Honest connections will form, and good things will happen.