Saturday, July 30, 2011

How do you look for your interview?

There are many tips for how to dress and groom yourself for an interview. Google is a great tool for that so I will not recap that here. However, if you are like me (and many others on the Spectrum) checking yourself in the mirror just before an interview can be as rough as making eye contact. When I first read Dracula by Bram Stoker I thought that not being seen in a mirror was about the coolest thing I ever heard of and not a sign of Nosferatu.  Yet it is essential you do one last check before you go into your interview to make sure your tie is straight, make-up is not smudged or a leftover from lunch is not stuck in your teeth.

To get over the anxiety from looking in the mirror at yourself you should practice this at home long before it comes time to go to an interview. Pick a big mirror and start by looking in the mirror only at a spot that feels the safest-- e.g. your belt buckle, the reflection of the wall behind you or a hand. Slowly move closer to your eyes until you feel the anxiety kick in. At that point stop looking in the mirror and let the anxiety subside. Keep trying to push the anxiety barrier closer to your eyes every time you try it (say daily).

It can take a while. If I remember right it was about five months for me before I could look into my eyes. I also noticed that if I had a meltdown or a poor social interaction the 'anxiety line' would move back out and I would lose ground requiring me to recover the lost ground (it went quicker the subsequent times).

Once you have conquered the anxiety of looking in the mirror you can then focus on the main point which is making sure your appearance is good for the all important first impression you make on someone.

PS I found my anxiety with eye contact in general lessened too but I am not sure this is because of my mirror work or not

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