Going for an interview can be an incredibly stressful experience. From the restless night’s sleep beforehand, to the constant sweating and shakes as you sit in the reception; sometimes they can feel more like you’re about to jump out of a plane rather than have a conversation with someone.
But what if we told you that there was another way?
By following a few steps you can downplay the power of those nagging doubts, worries and anxious thoughts, and allow the best possible version of you to shine through. This blog is going to explore exactly what you need to do to achieve this, and how you can ace your next interview to secure that dream job.
Do your research:
It may seem like an obvious point, but fully researching a company before an interview will not only help you to feel more prepared, but it will also give you an in depth understanding of the type of company you are interviewing with and what they do.
Ensure you get a great sense of their values and learn the job description inside out. If you know and can relate to a company before you’ve even got to the interview, then the entire situation won’t be as intimidating.
Whether it’s in the mirror or with a friend, practicing potential questions and how you will answer them will undoubtedly help to banish some of those nerves. What is there to be concerned about if you’ve got a response for most of the questions they’ll likely ask you?
Come up with teamwork examples, problem solving examples, and anything else you can think of. By having these answers stored in the back of your mind at all times, you’ll be ready to face anything that they could throw at you.
It’s also worth looking up difficult interview questions. Being asked what your biggest fault is can be off putting in a situation where you’re trying to sell yourself, yet there is a right answer to this question if you research beforehand.
Have a plan:
When you’re going for an interview, you want to reduce the likelihood of stress. One way you can do this is by planning your journey in advance. If you’re getting a taxi, book it the day before and make sure you have the money to hand.
If you’re getting a bus or train, check the timetables. Go for options that will give you more time than you need. You don’t want to miss your interview because your train was delayed. Getting the earlier option for your chosen transport mode should prevent this, whilst also giving you time to relax and mentally prepare for what’s ahead.
Get an early night:
This advice may seem reminiscent of childhood, yet getting plenty of rest before an interview will ensure you look fresh and can think clearly. And always make sure you set an alarm. There’s no excuse for being late to an interview; in fact it’s always worth getting there with plenty of time to spare. Best to be kept waiting in reception for a bit, than to keep potential employers waiting in a meeting room for you.
Dress for success:
Sometimes, the way we dress can have a huge impact on how we feel. If we feel comfortable and think we look good, then we’re also likely to exude this confidence in the way we walk, hold ourselves and even the way we communicate with other people. First impressions are everything, and human nature means the first judgment we make on people usually comes down to how they look, even if we don’t want this to be the case.
A smart suit, skirt or dress are all good choices for women, and a suit and tie is vital if you’re a man. Even if you’re heading for an interview where smart clothes are usually not worn in the workplace, it’s always important to make an effort and look your best.
Sometimes, letting the employer know you’re nervous can break the ice. It’ll help account for any potential long pauses when your mind goes blank, and it’s likely the person interviewing you will also try to make you feel more comfortable.
Another tip is to always accept a drink of water. If you get stuck on a question and need more time to think, you can take a sip whilst you gather yourself together and launch into that winning answer.
Relax and think positively
Most importantly, you need to remember one thing: You can do this! You’ve prepared. You’ve planned. You’ve practiced. So much so that when your interview finally comes around, you should be ready to go in and ace it with ease.
Just remember, the person interviewing is just a regular human being who goes home at night, has a curry and watches television. Once you feel like you’re meeting with someone like you, as opposed to a deity, you’ll instantly feel more relaxed.
And remember, they aren’t trying to catch you out; they just want to get to know you a little better!
Author: Rachel Jensen works for NetSource, specialising in information technology and telecommunications recruitment.