Congratulations you’ve nailed the application process and been called for an interview!
However, if the bubble of pride that brought a smile to your face, has been quickly squashed by a familiar sense of dread, then it’s time to face an old foe. Interview anxiety.
Let’s face it interviews are stressful. So what do you do? This guide will help you manage your anxiety and with practice, land the job!
1. Research your prospective employer
Use the company’s website and social media to get familiar with their ethos, structure and culture. Not only will this help you better understand what they do and how they do it, you will feel more confident answering questions. Employers want to know why you chose to apply to them and will want to see you have used your initiative to get to know them.
2. Prepare answers to common interview questions
Without fail employers will kick off an interview with their all time favourite get-to-know you question “Tell me a little about yourself, and why are you interested in this role with our company?”
The reason for this is simple- it quickly cuts to the chase allowing you to quickly communicate who you are and what value you will bring to the opportunity. Think of it as your personal elevator pitch.
Start with your current situation: your current position highlighting any relevant responsibilities and achievements. Then work backwards summarizing previous work history. Make sure to always highlight how your experience has prepared you for the role you are applying for and how this new role aligns with your career goals.
3. Be prepared with examples of your work
A top tip is to print out the job description and begin underlining specific skills the employer is looking for. Then think about examples from your work history that supports these requirements. For example times when you have successfully led a team, solved a difficult customer service issue or exceeded a target.
This includes formulating answers to the questions you dread most such as “What’s your biggest weakness?” Having some idea of what you could say is a sure fire way to get rid of some nerves. Be truthful yet positive, and “I have a tendency to work too hard” is not the right answer.
4. Practice aloud
Select your outfit, gather all your documents together and ask a relative or friend to run questions with you. Make sure they give you honest feedback.
Remember as you are going through your mock interview, keep your answers conversational and not parrot like, they’re hiring you to be a real person, not a tape recorder.
5. Take really good care
Get plenty of sleep and be sure to eat a nutritious breakfast that will fuel you for the duration of the interview. If you don’t feel up to a proper meal, grab a banana to fuel up before your interview. Banana’s are a great quick source of slow release energy and will help keep you focused and ready.
Leave the high sugar and coffee for a treat after you’re finished. A sugar/caffeine rush will only make your nerves worse.
6. What helps you calm?
Some people swear by getting in some exercise before an interview. It’s a great way to release that excess energy and get serotonin flowing. Just remember to leave time for a shower and prep time to freshen up pre-interview.
Other great tips are to pack an essential oil like lavender and put a few dots on your wrists and pulse points right before you go in to soothe nerves. If CBD oil helps to calm you have it handy. Consider crafting a pump-up playlist, or listen to music that helps to soothe you as you travel to the interview.
Try to focus on a positive mantra. You’ve done the work. You deserve this job. Remind yourself of that.
Strange as it may sound, we can forget to breathe while under stress. Taking slow, deep breaths lowers your heart rate and calms the mind, helping you to find the answers to tough questions.
8. Just be you
You and your interviewer share the same goal. To find the right fit for this job. You could go into this meeting and learn that it’s not the best fit for you and likewise the interviewer may see that you are not the right match for this role.
You could also be a perfect match. Either way, this is a great opportunity to learn more about each other and practice your interview skills.
Just be you. Before you answer the question, allow some thinking time, and give an honest answer that reflects who you are. Speak clearly and in your proper volume and voice and let your personality shine through.
9. Remember you are not alone!
Remember that anxiety is one of the most common conditions out there. You’re not alone! The people you are meeting have all been interviewees at one point and they know how nerve wreaking an interview can be.
They have spotted something they liked on your application, they chose you and chances are they’ll be sympathetic and encouraging.
Lastly be kind to yourself – if you wouldn’t put down a friend after an interview, why would you put yourself down? Be proud knowing that each time you face your fears, you’re becoming more resilient to them, no matter what the outcome is.
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