Let's face it, job interviews can be pretty scary things. The thought of being judged by a complete stranger is a daunting feeling for anyone.
I've seen brilliant candidates stumble at an interview stage based purely on nerves, which is a preventable and totally unnecessary problem (the view from the employer's side of the desk is - we just want candidates to do well and be themselves).
To help your interview preparation we've put together a few useful pointers to keep those interview nerves in check...
1. Interview Prep is King...
Research shows that you should spend roughly twice the amount of time researching your interview than actually attending it (that's about 2-3 hours). One of the big reasons you're nervous before an interview is the fear of stepping into the unknown, in-depth interview preparation is a great way to build confidence and gain insight.
- Ask for a job specification (this is different from a job advert), it will give you better insight into the role, and what skills are required. Read it over and over;
- Become a digital stalker… visit company websites as well as social media profiles. Instagram and Facebook are good for understanding company culture, Twitter for general news and chat and LinkedIn for corporate structure and team bios.
- Don’t overlook the basics, get to the interview with plenty of time, check for travel disruptions, print out a high quality copy of your CV and prepare your outfit in advance (in case dry cleaning needed).
2. Slow Down, Listen and be in Control…
The start of an interview is when nerves tend to hit their peak. Be sure to take breaths, remain calm and consider each question carefully before answering. The early questioning stage of an interview is generally the hardest and most stressful, but relax, as things go on you should start to get into the swing of things and even start to enjoy it.
The key is to remain calm, take a few seconds to contemplate each question before answering (don’t spurt out answers!), and don’t be afraid to ask interviewers to repeat questions or clarify what they mean.
If you are the fidgety type, then a useful way to stem that nervous energy is to hold a pen and jot down notes. Not only will this make you look professional, but it will act as a distraction from the interview and give you time to collect your thoughts.
3. Silence That Little Voice in your Head…
Before your interview you need to channel positive energy, don’t worry, I’m not going to start quoting “Mr Motivator” but it’s the small things can make a real difference. Ensure your music playlist is up-beat and positive. Give yourself a pep talk to silence any negative “I’m not good enough” thoughts and smile – you’ve got an interview at (we assume) a top employer you want to work at.
Once you overcome your nerves, you’ll realise that job interviews aren’t that scary, it’s just two groups of people chatting about stuff they should know about. So relax, don’t worry (as the worst outcome is not getting a job you don’t have in the first place) and nail it with confidence and a smile. Good luck!