You feel ready and set to walk into the interview … and then the nerves strike. What if I can’t think of what to say? What if I don’t come off as myself? What if they ask me a question I don’t know how to answer? What if I accidentally say something that offends the interviewer? What if I’m just not good enough? From the ludicrous to the mundane to the panicked, the what-ifs can turn that window before an interview into what feels like the World’s Largest Anxiety Attack. But you can calm those nerves and walk in with poise if you just take a few important steps.
- Remember why you’re there. Do you know how many people you beat out to land this interview? Possibly hundreds. If you’ve made it this far, you obviously have the background, skills, and talent the employer wants. You’ve worked hard and your references will back that up. Bear in mind as well that while you may feel this employer holds your future in the palm of their hand, they need you just as much as you need them, maybe even more so.
- Prepare yourself. Review possible interview questions and answers so you sound relaxed but not rehearsed. Practice answering questions that don’t necessarily have one answer, the kind interviewers ask to see how you’ll respond. Look up information about the company. View its website, any social media and any news articles about them. If possible, look up the interviewers themselves on LinkedIn to see if you have anything in common. Have your route and outfit planned out, and leave yourself enough time that you can take some calming, quiet breaths before walking in.
- Face your fears beforehand. Take a few minutes and jot down all of the things about the interview that scare you (much like the “what-ifs” above). Then, one by one, go through them and figure out a way to work around them, such as moving on from saying the wrong thing or avoiding it altogether (take your time and be yourself!), or having questions ready to ask so you sound interested and intelligent. The known is always easier to handle than the unknown; a quick search on how to ace an interview will give you plenty to work with.
If you want to do your best at an interview, work with an experienced recruiter at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks — they’ll help you prepare…and help you find a job that fits you well. Contact them to take away those interview fears.