Calm your nerves at interview

I’ve started doing live Facebook videos called Career Chat over Coffee and this week the topic was about how to combat nerves when going for interview.

Interview Photo

This morning I’m going to chat with you about interviewing and how to:

  • Reduce the nerves
  • Have a good idea about what to say
  • How to answer tricky questions

If you’re walking out of the interview meeting wishing you had said things or done things differently, here’s some ways you can avoid these feelings of regret. 

Combat those jitters

First up though, many people feel nervous at interview. It’s natural and normal. The interviewers can even feel nervous sometimes. Sometimes the more you want the job, the more nervous you feel. Ever been to a job interview when you didn’t think you had a chance but thought you’d give it a shot anyway? They tend to be the interviews where you feel least anxious.

  • Visualise what you’ll do the night before and the morning of interview. Have your outfit chosen and (ironed/cleaned) at least the day before. Stick to your usual routine.
  • If you have time in the morning for exercise – a walk, the gym – this can help get the endorphins going and you can run through your prepared examples in your mind.
  • Visualise walking into the interview – who will greet you and who will interview you? Accept a glass of water if they offer.
  • Know that when you are in the room it’s likely you’ll start to relax after the first couple of questions AND you’re on your way to the interview being over!! 😊

Have a good idea about what to say

Study the position description so you understand the role and WHY you are a good FIT for the position and organisation.

  • Understand the criteria and how you demonstrate with relevant examples from your work history.
  • Know your strengths and achievements and talk about them with confidence.

How to answer tricky questions

Not everyone enjoys the jargon of interview questions. If they have too many buzz words in them they can be misinterpreted by the interviewee. This can throw them off and they draw a blank.

An example question that’s often asked is ‘Tell me about a time when there was conflict in the team and how you managed this’.

I had a client who struggled to think of a suitable example for this question. We brainstormed some possible scenarios and when I replaced the word ‘conflict’ with ‘tension’ he was able to come up with a good example. ‘Conflict’ to him was physical  whereas ‘tension’ was about emotions and words.

  • Ask the interview to rephrase the question.
  • Paraphrase the question back and say – is that what you’re asking?
  • Simplify it down by saying, ‘Are you asking me about teamwork and how I dealt with a difficult situation?’
  • Ask, ‘What do you mean by conflict?’

Leave the building knowing you’ve given it your best

Have some questions prepared that are relevant and not about salary. Eg. What are the next steps. How soon would you need the successful person to start? What are the top priorities for the person starting this role?

  • Shake hands and thank them for their time.
  • Reward yourself with a coffee and relax!
  • Well done – feel proud of your achievement. 🙂
  • Send the main interviewer a thank you email to help seal the deal!

If you’d like to chat to me about putting your best foot forward when going for interview send me a message.

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