Popular Pastimes That Will Make You Better in Interviews

We spend a lot of time here covering preparation for interview questions that are likely to come up with regard to certain roles and functions. And it’s certainly true that when you’re pursuing a new position it’s in your best interest to preview questions, consider responses in advance, and generally prepare yourself with specific, relevant knowledge.

At the same time, there are also some more general skills that are invaluable in interview situations. These skills come to some more easily than others, and are best developed by actually sitting through interviews (real or practice). That said, there are also some everyday hobbies and pastimes that actually do a nice job of instilling certain skills that are helpful when it comes time to interview for a new position. For anyone looking to sharpen those general skills, we’re going to look at a few examples.

Following are the Concepts that we are going to Cover in this Blog:

  • Exercise
  • Poker
  • Dating

Exercise

Regular exercise while you’re interviewing, or leading up to an interview, will help you in a few different ways. First and foremost, it’s well known that exercising can relieve stress; in fact it’s even said that getting 150 minutes of exercise a week can ease anxiety. Decreasing stress and anxiety doesn’t mean that there’s no chance you’ll be nervous come interview time. However, regular exercise can, though these benefits, put you at ease in a lasting way. You’ll be more likely to remain relaxed in any given situation, including a challenging interview.

All of that holds true for most any kind of exercising: a daily jog, a few days a week with a rec league soccer team, some at-home weight lifting, etc. Additionally though, working out with others specifically will also instill some habits come interview time. Unlike some other social scenarios that are more passive, exercising with others demands that you be present in the moment — that you communicate efficiently, show energy for the activity at hand, and look others in the eye. All of these are:

Poker

Poker is a beloved pastime that famously trains players in a number of ways that apply to real life. It instils patience and calm, heightens social awareness, and helps people to focus on big-picture goals rather than smaller ups and downs. All of these lessons can be somewhat helpful in an interview setting, but the most valuable thing you can glean from the game is the ability to recall information and focus on answers under pressure.

Good poker players are constantly working out problems in their heads. They learn to recognize patterns in their opponents’ play, and log those patterns for future reference. They learn to calculate the odds of different hands and bets in a variety of specific situations. And they tap into all of this information (on top of more general rules and strategies) even in high-pressure situations. Naturally when you’re interviewing for a new position, the same information isn’t relevant. But the training in recalling details and finding solutions in tense scenarios is invaluable.

Dating

Okay, so you might not think of dating as a pastime specifically. But if you do date occasionally, you likely know that dating can teach you lessons about yourself even more than the other person involved. You’ll learn what you really value about yourself and what you prefer to share. You may become more conscious of any shortcomings or odd quirks you have. You’ll likely also gain a stronger sense of what you’d like to improve about yourself.

These lessons, and the experience of learning them, will also help when your next interview comes along. While we often emphasize the details involved in interview questions and answers, these are also very personal experiences. Self-assessment is part of the process, and for many it’s the hardest part. Dating, however, helps you to gain a more complete picture of yourself that makes assessment and expression easier. You’ll know what you want to share, how you want to come across, and even how to talk about (or hide, if necessary!) your shortcomings. Plus, at the end of the day, you’re basically trying to see if there’s going to be a second date!

Conclusion:

These pastimes may not be the only ways to gain interview skills in the end, but they can be more effective than you might guess. The right state of mind, personal skills, and perspective go a long way toward helping you make a good impression, and regular hobbies and activities will help you to develop these things.

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