Interviews are stressful, there are no two ways about it. You are sitting down being judged by another person, and at the end of the process, you will either succeed or fail it's that black or white. If that is not enough to send you on a downward anxiety spiral, then hats off to you. I struggle with stressful situations, I am the kind of person who can feel the knot in my stomach before even entering the building. My hands only ever start sweating right before I need to shake hands. The minute I sit down to talk, I suddenly have a mouth dryer than the Sahara!
These problems are all just symptoms of the stress that many job applicants face. However, there are some simple steps that you can implement to avoid the dreaded interview anxiety, help ace the interview process and land the job:
Don't just turn up on the day without preparing for the interview. Once you have received the email or call to set up the meeting take time to research the role that you have applied for and the company itself. Make sure that you are aware of the companies vision and that it aligns within your own ethics and beliefs. Think of different conversations you can start with the interviewer about your fit with the company itself. Study the job description for the role and think of real-life examples that you can use to prove you have experience and would be qualified for the position.
Hold mock interviews with family or friends, print off a list of commonly asked interview questions and use this time to practice answering these questions in an interview scenario. Let the person interviewing you take notes and be honest. Practice your delivery of specific issues, think of practical and relevant small talk that you could use when first meeting the interviewer.
These days we often are so eager to answer that we don't actually listen to the full question. Usually, we respond with something that takes us off onto a different tangent. Listen deeply to the interviewer that way you can feel more in control of the answer.
Don't slip into the trap of keeping up with the interviewer's rapid-fire pace. Take time answering each question don't just pull from the top of your head. If you are struggling with a solution and need more time to think pause for a moment and use an opener like "I am glad you asked that" or "that's a good question". Create more time to think about what you want to answer and also show that you are interested.
This may seem like a simple task but can be hard when you are feeling stressed or anxious. Exuding confidence is all about body language. Focus on keeping eye contact, don't forget to smile. Use a firm grip when shaking hands and remember to sit up straight and avoid crossing your arms. Focusing on exuding confidence can also calm you down as you can quickly implement these simple steps which make a world of difference.
Asking questions at the end of an interview is essential, it helps put you in control of the conversation and shows strength. During the meeting, think about the different issues that would relate to anything has been discussed. Demonstrate your listening abilities once again and confirm you have researched the company. A helpful tip is to ask the interviewer to imagine if you were given the role. What would your day to day role look like? Who would you work with? What skills would you be implementing each day?. Asking the interviewer to imagine you in the role places you in that position in their thoughts which bodes well for the future.
What are your thoughts on our tips to stay calm in an interview?
Do you have any suggestions to help stay calm?
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