I have a good friend here in Oslo who happens to be Irish and who moved over to Norway three years ago. He is a bit “weird” with certain things and he has always had this fear of introducing his friends to his parents. Not because his friends are some strange characters he picked up in a dark side street one cold Oslo winters day (at least I hope we are not) but he is just a bit strange with things like this. Anyway, this weekend it was finally time for a few of us privileged friends to meet his parents, Susan and Paddy.
My god he was nervous and my god did he not want this to happen, but this was the third time his parents visited Norway and this time they had not taken no for an answer.
The day had come. Jan and I was finally due to meet the parents, and as any sensible Irishman would do, our friend arranged for us all to meet in an Irish bar down town. I could feel his nervousness from a mile distance as Jan and I jumped in a taxi to the Irish bar. But why was he so nervous? Well, the night passed by with Guinness, whiskeys and G&T`s being drunk in a tempo that probably inspired Bolt to beat all the cheaters in the 100m final today and more importantly; What a great night it turned out to be. Irish music, dancing, flowing conversation and a bundle of laughs. Couldn’t have worked out better.
So what the hell is Erik on about now, you may think? Normally he writes about job seekers, interviews, CV`s and what not. Well, believe it or not, this text is also directed at job seekers.
Same as with my friend and his nerves, the same nervousness tends to find its way into the groin of people before and when they attend a job interview. There is nothing wrong with this and as it happen, it is rather natural. I mean, why wouldn`t you be nervous when you are “fighting” for something that is important to you? Why wouldn’t you feel a bit tense when you are set to, and expected to perform? Despite of this, the nerves do tend to get to some people and as a result, they lose out in the interview process. Not a nice experience when this happens and something that unfortunately is hard to improve on.
This leads me back to Saturday night in the pub. Did our friend really have any reason to be nervous? Did Jan and I really have any reason to be nervous? Of course not and by the time we all met, hugged and kissed hello we simply worked out that nothing would be better than just being ourselves. And herein lies the golden nugget: Due to the fact that we all managed to be ourselves, the evening and early morning couldn’t have been better. Yes perhaps the morning after could have been less painful but that is a story for another time.
The same principle is relevant and highly important in terms of a job interview. Despite what some silly career experts may say (remember many of these have never recruited themselves before) all you are expected to do in an interview is be yourself and being true to yourself. No one, and I mean no one, expects you to be something you are not, and no one expects you to be like everyone else. Everyone, and I mean everyone, expects you to be yourself. As a job seeker, once you understand this and genuinely believe in this you will have taken a huge step towards a new job.
Paddy, wife and son enjoy themselves true Irish style
Before I go back to cure my hangover, I would also like to inform all job seekers about the fact that most of those people actually carrying out the interview will also be somewhat nervous. There is a lot at stake for them too (giving a good impression, securing the best candidate ahead of competitors etc.) and you have no reason to feel that you are the less valuable one in an interview scenario. Therefore, I repeat, be yourself, act you as you normally act and enjoy the interview experience. You have no reason not too and you will quickly realise that attending an interview isn’t all that nerve-wracking after all, but actually a positive and joyful experience.
Good Luck with your interviews and safe Journey back to Ireland for Paddy and Susan