Job interviews can be difficult for many reasons, but some reasons, such as properly researching the company and the role, can be somewhat easily handled with thorough preparation. One aspect that can ruin it all, however, is nerves. You might have all the information you need, all the answers to every possible iteration of every possible question that can come up, but if nerves take over, they can ruin your hard work in an instant. So how do you stay on top of interview anxiety? We, at CA, have some advice for combatting those interview nerves that can sometimes get the better of us.
We know preparation is key but it’s especially important for minimising interview nerves. If you go in to face the panel believing you’ve not properly prepared. it will show in your demeanour and your responses. Make sure that you prepare thoroughly – start early. This is one of the factors that can contribute to anxiety that you have the most control over so don’t scupper the opportunity with poor planning.
Have your outfit ready and pressed, know the route you’re going to take to get there and the time of day you will leave home no less than a full day before the interview. The same goes for printing anything in hard copy that might be required in the interview. Don’t leave anything to the last minute, or even until the interview day. These things should be done and off your mind so that you can relax and focus on fewer things closer to the interview time. The idea is to take things off your plate as much as possible so you have less to worry about closer to the interview day.
This is a simple thing you can do to eliminate yet another factor that would cause stress or anxiety before an interview. Getting to your destination early takes away one source of worry and it also allows you time to collect your thoughts and relax.
Look at the interview in the right way
It’s not an interrogation. It’s your potential employer getting to know you. Keep that in mind and you will feel much more comfortable while you answer questions and talk about yourself. It will feel more like a conversation and less like a grilling. They’re not trying to catch you out – they want to find someone for the role that needs filling.
Remember your interviewer might become your colleague
Keeping this in mind can help you to build a better rapport with the person interviewing you. If you see them more as a potential future ‘ally’ it will make the situation feel more friendly.
Yes, you have a lot to remember, but take your time and set a comfortable pace for yourself. Too many candidates try to get out every piece of information they can remember and this can make them rush and speak far too quickly. Accept that a large chunk of what you have rehearsed won’t see the light of day. It’s far more important to have the info and not use it, than not have it when you need it.
Interview anxiety is a tricky one. It can too easily get the better of you if you allow it. The idea is not to allow it by making sure you have prepared properly and you’re in the right frame of mind both before and during the interview.