Interview jitters – they affect the best of us. I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t experienced some form of anxiety or stress at the thought of an interview at some point in his or her career. It’s a natural feeling. What you don’t want though, is for these nerves to be all consuming and jeopardise your chances of that second interview or job offer!
I’ve devised a list of several simple but effective ideas that I think will help shake off any pre- or mid interview anxiety and set you up for success!
1: Be Prepared:
Plan ahead. Part of the pre-interview anxiety stems from not knowing what to expect. We at Digital Experts always prep our candidates thoroughly giving exact details on what type of interview to expect – from sample psychometric tests to competency based interview techniques. However, if you are flying solo it can be pretty nerve wracking and all kinds of worse case scenarios can tamper with your interview preparation. So, how do you walk into that interview with confidence? The answer lies in planning: your answers to their questions and your questions to them.
- Consider the most frequently asked questions and know what you’re going to say. Don’t shy away from those potentially awkward questions either; face your fears and prepare good interview answers that are a true reflection of who you are but also show you in a positive light.
- Prepare at least 3 questions to ask them. Ask questions that reflect your interest in the company, your enthusiasm in the job and avoid asking anything that could have been uncovered with a little internet research!
Whilst it’s impossible to predict what will be asked, having some idea of what you could say is a sure fire way of zapping those interview nerves!
2) Do your research:
An often overlooked factor when preparing for an interview: the research. Every job seeker must understand thoroughly the role they are being interviewed for, the company, industry and the interviewer(s) themselves. Having full knowledge in all these areas is a great way for calming nerves and you will be able to give confident, relevant answers based on the research you carried out. Don’t forget it’s also perfectly acceptable not to know everything, and if you’ve answered 9 out of 10 questions correctly, that one curve-ball question won’t disqualify you!
3) Be organised:
Another potential way to stop those butterflies from taking over is to take away any unnecessary stresses. Knowing what you’re wearing, where you’re going and how you’re going to get there prior to you interview date will help keep those nerves at bay.
Attire: Decide on what to wear keeping your outfit of choice simple and classic – a reflection of your true professionalism as well as creating the best possible first impression.
Location: Know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. It may be beneficial to do a recce prior to your interview. This not only gives you the opportunity to work out how long it’s going to take to get there, the best route to take but also where to park. If taking public transport, do look at a map to find out how far you may have to walk and again, plan your route.
Always give yourself enough time should the unexpected happen and always make sure you have the interviewer’s telephone number or email address at hand should you encounter any unexpected delays. Let them know straight away that you are running late.
4) Be Positive!
Get rid of negative thoughts and enter that interview with a positive mind-set. However, this is easier said than done and a fear of the unknown can easily raise your anxiety levels and set your heart racing! Invariably, this feeling can work to your benefit, helping you to perform under pressure and ready to answer any question your interviewer throws at you. However if you do feel overwhelmed remember all that preparation you have done. If you’ve properly researched the organisation, the industry, the interviewer, the position you’re applying for – you will be just fine!
5) Be Honest!
Finally, there is absolutely no shame in admitting during your interview that you feel nervous. By being honest and open can make you appear more personable and the interviewer will appreciate this!
In short, interviewing for a job can be highly nerve-wracking but can also is a skill you can refine and learn. With the right tips and techniques, you can become a master at sharing your value with potential employers, presenting yourself effectively at interviews, and getting the job you want.
Have you experienced interview stress? How did you overcome it?