We’ll be honest: interviews can feel pretty hard going. If it’s not one-on-one, you might be outnumbered by panellists grilling you at every turn about your skills and experiences, testing whether you’re up to the job.
First things first: remember to BREATHE
You’d be surprised how often you forget to do this when you’re nervous. It’s easy to get distracted by your sweaty palms and dry mouth, but bring your attention to the breath and try a few breathing and relaxation techniques to get yourself balanced.
We know there’s a lot at stake on interview day, so jitters are inevitable – all the more reason to keep them under control. This will make anything from doing interview assessment tests to trial working days easier when you move through the day with a calmer perspective.
Harness the power of the mind!
Believing in yourself is a fundamental ingredient to winning over an interview.
Try this writing exercise, suggested by financial website MoneyNing: Grab a notebook and jot down a few of your positive and personal moments of success (i.e. at home or work, such as sports, a project, promotion etc.) Recalling successes can give you that instant feeling of a ‘can do’ attitude, which powers up your self-esteem!
You could also try this, according to Berkeley University of California’s Career Centre: close your eyes for 10-15 minutes and visualise your success (much like a sports athlete before a race). Imagine what you’re wearing for the interview, the answers you give to the questions, your surroundings and even what the interviewers look like to give that added boost.
Don’t wing it
Attempting to blag it is a classic interview mistake, done by many. Struggling to respond to questions you haven’t prepared for doesn’t just look unprofessional, but it also increases those stress and anxiety levels that can stop you nailing the job. Take the time to prepare and note down answers to possible questions to avoid embarrassing awkward silences – or, worse still, blabbering away.
Remember that it’s just a conversation
It may be tempting to see interviews as the Spanish inquisition, but it’s really a two-way street of asking questions and giving answers to see whether you’re a right fit for the job.
Act as naturally as possible (you don’t want to come across like a robot!) and remember at least 5 of your key skills and experiences to highlight in your interview answers.
Also, the person sitting opposite you may even be as nervous as you are! They’ll understand what’s it’s like to be sitting in the hot seat. Listen carefully, answer fully and enjoy the conversation as much as you can.
Don’t hit the espressos
Too much caffeine can amplify rather than steady your nerves. Do your prep, plan your outfit and your journey, and get a good night’s sleep so you enter your interview feeling calm, prepared, and primed to get that offer.