I don’t like job interviews, namely because despite the fact that I’ve purposefully forced three nerve poos out in the morning, I still urgently need one the entire duration of any interview I have. It is unavoidable. Also, my handshake prior to the interview, although firm and confident, is as wet as an eel’s neck. My laugh? You know that’s nervous. The things I say? Oh, you best believe I’ll blurt out some things that I don’t mean, mean nothing and are potentially highly offensive.
Nerves are a killer, you know, they are the end of many a burgeoning career – so how to get over them? Or more specifically, how to deal with the fatal question: Tell me a bit about yourself?
Don’t bluster and blubber out something like “I… I, erm, I’m a good, erm, I like to… be, I have a good… erm, umm… I’VE NEVER MURDERED ANYBODY!” Instead, follow Simon Sinek’s advice. The leadership expert and bestselling author spoke to Business Insider and revealed that he has one single test to ensure you boss that question out of the park, all the way off the planet and into the burning core of our sun.
It’s called the “friends test” and all it involves is two steps:
- Pick a very good friend who you really like and really likes you.
- Simply ask them “Why are we friends?”
According to Sinek, your mate might be “weirded out” at first, particularly if you smash through their bedroom window at three in the morning and scream it in their ear through a megaphone, but persevere. They’ll probably say things like “You’re funny”, or “You’re loyal” or “You have steel claws that jut out of your hands to defend me when we get in trouble”, but try to push for a bit more.
“Eventually, they'll give up and they'll stop describing you and they'll start describing themselves." He says a friend told him: “I can sit in a room with you and feel inspired; I don't even have to talk to you.”
Try this with multiple friends if you’ve got them, and then form an answer from all of that. Then you’ve got a snappy riposte in your arsenal when you’re asked the dreaded question – you don’t have to make up anything or stumble over yourself trying to think of something good to say.
Other tips (from me, not Sinek), include:
- Eat a red pepper like an apple the entire way through
- Play this song on your phone as you enter the room
- If your nose starts to run, DO NOT sniff – it’s a sign of weakness – let it flow
- Bare feet is a good look
- If you want to get on your future boss’ side, make sure you laugh at every single thing they say
- If there’s a desk, sit a good four chairs’ distance away from it – it will demonstrate your loud voice and enable them to see your feet
- Ask them where the office is, and just as they’re about to answer, scream “YOU IN THE OFFICE BABY” and play this on your phone while walking out
- Slam the door as hard as you can
Congrats on your new job. I’ll take a 50% cut of any monthly earnings, thanks bro.