It’s Not What You Think!
Do you like sparkling water? I love it!
All those bubbles on my tongue are so dang refreshing, I can’t resist.
But, those blissful bubbles come with a side effect – BURPING!
“A Burp Is Not An Answer” -Bart Simpson
My love for sparkling water runs deep. I got hooked as a kid when my mom decided to replace Diet Coke with something healthier, and filled our fridge with LaCroix.
Classic flavor-free is my go-to, but Pamplemousse is giving it a run for its money in recent years. Though, I might actually like the name more than the flavor, tbh.
But no love is without its rocky road. This sparking delight that I so gallantly guzzle, proved to be a hinderance during a recent interview.
On a video-conference, my can of LaCroix just out of frame, the interviewer asked a question and I began to answer.
“A *pause* time *pause* when *pause* I *pause* encountered *pause* …”
Except each pause was a mini-burp!
Body & Mind
This made me reflect on an often overlooked part of interview prep – our physical state.
We could practice interview questions until we are blue if the face, but if we pass out before the interview it will not have done much good.
What can you do?!
Expect the Unexpected
In Tim Ferris’ recent podcast, he talks about how he prepared for his Ted Talk under extreme conditions.
Memorizing the talk was only half-the battle. The other half was making sure nothing would throw him off his game once he got up on stage.
Lack of sleep, over-caffeination, test-runs in front of groups of strangers. Each stressor made him stronger.
This, he says, can be applied to test-prep too. You should never take practice exams in the comfort of your own home. No testing facility will ever have the perfectly controlled environment that you’ve set-up in your room.
The bathroom will be inaccessible, the water non-existent, and the environment foreign.
So, you should take practice exams in coffee shops, noisy environments, and places that don’t feel like home. This way, when you get to the actual exam, you’re ready for anything.
Apply this form of thinking to your interview too.
If you tend to not sleep well the night before your interviews, practice with little-to-no sleep. If you tend to drink too much coffee at times, practice with a triple-shot macchiato in your system. I mean, be careful, but you get the idea.
And before you go into your interview, make sure you visit the loo.
Grace Under Fire
Of course there is no way to completely protect yourself from bad-luck.
I recall an incident from college involving an all-day series of interviews and a Mexican dinner from the night before that decided to rebel against the situation at hand. In these moments, it is best to politely excuse yourself and ask for a hall-pass.
For everything else, plan ahead. Oh – and don’t drink fizzy-water during an interview.