You’ve already got your resume up to snuff, you’ve done your research about the company and the interviewer, you’re dressed for the job you want, not the one you have, and you’ve practiced your interview questions with a friend.  Everyone knows about these basic interview tips, so what more can you do to give yourself an edge over the competition?

Here are four more interview tricks you may overlook, gathered from personal experience, friends, and scientific studies that might come in handy for you on the big day.

Trick 1: Don’t Drink Coffee 

Something I’ve learned the hard way over the course of many interviews is that, on interview day, coffee is not your friend. The caffeine will make you sweat even more than the natural stress of being in a high pressure situation, and will exacerbate any jitters or nervous tics that you have. Most importantly, and very embarrassingly, it can push your kidneys into overdrive, which means that just 15 minutes into the interview you might be forced to excuse yourself to the restroom, which will make you appear unprepared. If your interviewer hands you a cup of coffee at the beginning of the interview, just accept it and warm your hands on it instead of drinking it, it won’t be obvious since you’ll be talking a lot anyway.

Trick 2: Practice Power Stance

power posingThis clever Ted Talk will give you an entirely new appreciation for the value of a bit of pretense. Standing in a dominant manner, for example with your hands on your hips with your head up, will actually change the hormonal balance in your body and make you genuinely less nervous, more confident, and more leadership oriented.   While nothing matches genuine felt confidence, if you are feeling especially nervous, practice this interview trick of standing in a power pose right before your interview to calm your nerve and bring your best self to the interview.

Trick 3: Interview Your Friend

Instead of practicing your interview answers you should switch parts and instead ask the questions during your interview practice. Anyone who has ever conducted a job interview has a drastically different idea as to what they want to hear than someone who has only ever sat on the other side of the table. Listening to what you intend to say from the perspective of the interviewer will make any obvious faux pas glaringly obvious. More importantly it can give you more insight as to why specific questions are being asked.

Trick 4: Prepare Answers For Illegal Questions

It’s not legal for interviewers to ask about your race, marital status, age, disabilities, military discharge, credit, or ancestry. So what are you supposed to do when someone asks you a question about one of these things? Getting angry could easily cost you the job, but answering the question could also be detrimental to you chances. The best way to decline to answer an illegal question is to firmly but politely assert that it’s not relevant to your ability to perform job tasks. Don’t mention that it’s not legal unless you’re aggressively pushed to answer the question, in which case you might reevaluate your interest in your potential employer.

Your comments: What other interview tricks have you used that are effective but often overlooked?   Share with others in the comment box below

Guest Author: Reyna Ramli is a writer for CareerBliss, an online community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. 

This is a Guest post.  If you would like to submit a guest post to BeMyCareerCoach.com, please follow these guest post guidelines.

2 Thoughts on “4 Interview Tricks You May Overlook

  1. Clair Belmonte on June 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm said:

    Good evening,

    This post offered many interview faux pas that I had never previously considered. I always knew that coming into an interview with coffee was a no-go, but I never considered not drinking the coffee offered to me. Additionally, I have definitely been asked about my marital status as well, but I figured I had no choice but to answer, especially since I am typically interviewed by men. I assumed that was normal. Good to know that I can avoid that awkward situation next time!

    Thanks for the great article,
    Clair Belmonte

  2. Very helpful expecially #4. I was recently asked in an interview if I was single. I didn’t think too much about it since I thought they might think I have a family to support and having that might be a negative thing for the job post. Thanks for this! Now I have an answer to that.

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