Clammy hands, stuttering, excessive sweating and verbal rambling are some of the ways that people react to pressure. No matter what your individual reaction may be, most people would agree that’s it’s easier to think clearly and perform when pressure isn’t a factor.
They have a job open. You want the job. It’s not yours yet. Logic suggests that because your interviewer is in the position of strength, the pressure is on you to perform well. And it is, we’re not talking about lollipop land here (although I do wish I got to spend more time there). No matter how nice of an individual the hiring manager may seem to be, his responsibility is to hire the best person for the company. But just because he has the authority to give you your next big break, doesn’t mean that you’re the only one with pressure on you.
With power comes responsibility. The person in charge of making the hire is under the same, if not more, pressure than you are. If someone is making $50,000, it will often cost a company over $100,000 a year to employ them; there’s training and support costs, work space and computer costs, and health and dental insurance among a myriad of other expenses that your company pays just to have you work there. Employees are expensive to have, but in many cases, they’re even more expensive to fire.
How many times have you thought someone was nice enough on first impression only to realize later that they’re kind of self-absorbed or a bit of a sketch-ball? These decisions are not always easy to make; if they were, first dates would all go swimmingly. Your future boss wants you to make this decision easy for him. Remember, he has the pressure on him to make the six-figure decision; you just need to represent yourself well.
There’s pressure inherent in any interview, don’t exacerbate the situation by letting yourself believe it’s just you on the hot seat. So next time you find yourself getting worked up about making a good impression, take a deep breath and consider how much pressure the person on the other side of the table is feeling. As long as you’ve prepared yourself well, you’ve got the easy job!