Job interviews can be very scary. There is no denying this fact! Everyone gets a little bit nervous shortly before their job interview, and it is to be expected. Luckily your interviewer will be very aware of this too, so don’t worry too much if you should let your nerves get the better of you during your interview.
For some people though, it can be very difficult to prevent their nerves running away with them. Once negative thoughts start to creep into their minds, they will give up and pretty much accept that they have blown their interview – usually before it has even properly got started.
Unfortunately, there are lots of different negative thoughts that are quite commonly experienced by job candidates going for an interview. The most common ones are:
- All these other guys are better than me – I cannot compete!
- I am going to be too young to be considered
- I lack the experience for this role
- I may be over-qualified – they think I won’t stay long
- I won’t fit with their company
- I’m too old for this job!
- They will hate me – I don’t know why I’m bothering!
Any of the above negative thoughts can creep into your mind while you are waiting to walk through the interview room door. Allowing them to do so and allowing them to take control of your mind can lead to you give up even before you have set foot in the room. Carrying these thoughts into your interview can even affect how you walk in, how you carry yourself, and how you introduce yourself and greet your interviewer.
First impressions really do count when it comes to your job interview, so even if you have some nagging doubts entering your mind, you need to learn how to control them so you can walk into the interview room with confidence, give your interviewer good eye-contact, shake hands firmly and give a winning smile.
To do this you will have to change your thought patterns. The good news is that it can be done – it takes practice and commitment, but it can be done!
Take stock of your success
It all starts here – take a moment to consider just how well you have done so far. Really think about it. You are already one of the lucky ones! Don’t believe me? Well, there could have been potentially hundreds of people applying for this job, but you have managed to win yourself an interview. You have been given the opportunity to get your foot in the door and land yourself this job. That is quite an accomplishment in itself and this is something you should be proud of.
You have already been judged by the company and considered worthy of consideration for the role on offer. They are already interested in you and what you can bring to this role. The interviewers will already have a positive impression of you because you have managed to get this far. You just need to embrace this positivity and carry it with you into your interview.
Spare a thought for your interviewer
People get so wrapped up in their own thoughts that they often forget to stop and think about the person doing the interview. Stop for a moment and think about who’s interviewing you. It may well be the case that the person sitting opposite you may also be feeling nervous. They may be new to interviewing people, so are worried that they are doing it right. You really don’t have any idea how they are feeling!
Remember that your interviewer is human too. By moving your focus away from yourself towards your interviewer, it can help you to listen and engage with them better. It will also help to quieten the doubts in your head.
Keep yourself grounded
Nerves and adrenaline can send your anxiety levels through the roof. So you need to turn your thoughts inwards and learn to breathe. Practice some deep breathing exercises at home. Close your eyes and focus on listening to your heartbeat. Pull your emotions inwards and downwards with every exhale. You want to move your focus down your body until you eventually reach your feet.
Take a few minutes every morning and evening to practice this technique until you get used to it. While you are waiting outside the interview room, take a couple of minutes to practice this and keep yourself grounded right up until you are called in for your interview.
Keep your answers short and concise
Read up about the most common interview questions that you are likely to be asked. Memorise your answers – but keep them short and to the point. During your interview it can be easy to let your brain whirr away and let yourself ramble on. Your interviewer will be looking for short and concise answers, so give them what they want.
Don’t be afraid of quiet pauses. You don’t need to fill every minute of your interview with words. Allow natural pauses to occur so that both you and your interviewer have a chance to collect yourselves and prepare for your next question and answer.
Keep one picture in your head – that of your interviewer reaching over the desk to shake your hand and offer you the job. This will keep you engaged with your interviewer and smiling.
Good luck with your interview!