Interview Tip: Just Be You, The Confident You

I applied for a spot in an international leadership program and I was shortlisted for an interview in KL. So a few days ago, I flew there for an interview I haven’t had in a while. Prior to the interview, I was anxious.

From my secondary school years, I was taught to “study” for the interview. So my anxiety has brought me back to my secondary school days and I had a passing thought telling me that I should study.

I find it weird to study for an interview: to anticipate the questions, and to prepare/memorize answers beforehand. Even a simple question such as “Tell us about yourself” is rehearsed. I thought to myself, “If I was the interviewer, do I want that in a candidate?” I would imagine that an interviewer would want to see the real me. At least, that is what I would want if I was the interviewer.

So I didn’t study. It’s an interview. Not an exam.

Anxiety is still there. But I managed to control it, even while waiting for my turn outside of the interview room. It was a solo interview, not a group interview. So, I was completely alone. I walked in to see two interviewers ready to meet me: a man and a lady. I sat down in front of them, smiling and confident (at least on the outside).

I always feel nervous in the beginning of something. But once I am in the zone, the nervousness seems to melt away. So I just need to get my act together and enter the zone. One question after the other, my confidence slowly grew. My focus is to simply tell them the truth; tell them who I really am. There was no need for pretence, because I can’t spend the rest of my life pretending.

If I am good enough for the spot in the program, then they will pick me. If I am not good enough, then I will learn, improve, and move on. When one door closes, another one will open. No need to mourn because of one closed door.

What’s important is that I took the opportunity and did my best. That is already a success, whether I get the spot or not.

The only failure is in not trying; to give up before the battle begins.

p/s: I got the spot!

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