You’re going about your daily business when the latest, catchy Taylor Swift song pops into your head. You can’t get it out.
Sometimes, this even happens during your job interview.
It could be something you said or did that hit "play" in your head (but hopefully not in a bad way).
You worked hard to get that interview, and you want it to go amazingly.
From the time you enter the office to the parting handshake, you need to be ready for anything that comes your way.
Believe it or not, lessons from Swift songs can help you out, and you should embrace the moment one of her gems gets stuck on repeat in your head.
Here are four Taylor Swift songs and the job interview tips you can learn from them:
1. “I knew you were trouble when you walked in. So shame on me now.” — "I Knew You Were Trouble"
You’ve heard this a million times: You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Once you walk through that door with your head held high, there’s no turning back. Even so, there are little things you can do from the beginning to impress your interviewer.
First and foremost, be on time.
A 2015 survey done by The Creative Company found 70 percent of hiring professionals consider it a deal-breaker for a candidate to arrive late to an interview.
If you’re not familiar with the area around the office, do a test run.
Find out exactly how to get there and how much travel time to allow yourself the day of.
It might seem obvious, but actually introduce yourself.
It’s common for job candidates to either be so nervous they forget to tell the interviewers their names, or they assume the interviewers remembers them.
Depending on the response to a job listing, an interviewer may be meeting with dozens of candidates.
So, help yours put a face and voice to the name.
2. “Got a long list of ex-employers. They’ll tell you I’m insane. But I’ve got a blank space, baby, and I’ll write your name.” — "Blank Space" (Job Interview Remix)
Job-hopping has become a new workplace norm, especially for younger employees.
In fact, the 2015 Jobvite 5 Job Seeker Nation Study found 36 percent of employees between the ages of 18 and 29 change jobs every one to three years.
That makes Millennials at least twice more likely than older employees to have a long list of previous employers.
Even though it’s becoming more common, job-hopping won’t make you seem more stable than other candidates.
You need to find ways to show the company the job you’re applying for is more than just another notch on your résumé.
Take the time to research the company, and dig deeper than the job listing.
Find out how the company does what it does by talking to former and current employees. Reach out through LinkedIn or email, and ask what the company culture is like.
If you hear something that really resonates with you, bring it up in the interview.
This way, the hiring manager knows you’ve taken the time to find out why this particular company is special to you.
3. “Why you gotta be so mean?” — "Mean"
People have terrible, dragon-like bosses and they get fired. It happens.
But there’s a right and a wrong way to talk about this during an interview.
First off, never bad-mouth a previous employer. It comes off as unprofessional, and it's a big interview no-no.
It's so much so, 62 percent of the interviewers surveyed in the aforementioned study by The Creative Group changed their minds about a candidate because of how he or she spoke about his or her old employer.
Also, remember when you’re talking about a former employer, you’re talking about everything associated with that employer's brand, including your coworkers, clients and even the website.
So, when an interviewer asks you about your past job, it’s not better to say, “I loved my boss, but my coworkers were all idiots.”
Instead of using harsh or unprofessional language to talk about a less-than-stellar former job, focus on what you learned or how the experience helped you in the long run.
Did your last boss make you revise every report a thousand times? Well, now you’re more detail-oriented.
Were your old coworkers less skilled than you? That gave you a chance to build your leadership skills, and you helped them become more efficient employees.
4. “I never miss a beat. I’m lightning on my feet.” — "Shake It Off"
No matter how much you prepare and practice, everyone makes little mistakes now and then.
It’s how you recover from those mistakes that is important.
Your interviewers are not haters trying to hate, hate, hate. They want you to recover from a mistake and move on.
So what if you accidentally mispronounce the word “manage?” Correct yourself, and keep on talking.
You can even play it off by saying something along the lines of, “I meant to say manage, as in m-a-n-a-g-e. That’s a word I understand. Who knows what that other word I just said means?”
Remember: It’s also okay to take a moment to pause and regroup during the interview.
If you’re asked a difficult question or one you weren’t expecting, think about it for a few seconds before you start rambling on.
A job interview can be stressful, but with some preparation and help from Taylor Swift, you can nail it.
Follow these tips, and the next time you’re meeting with a hiring manager, the lyrics to "You Belong With Me" will be playing in his or her head.