Job interviews are like visiting the dentist; you know they’re important, but you hate to go. Even the most confident job candidate expends an inordinate amount of time preparing for the interview, whether it’s on-site or on the phone. Most candidates feel nervous, anxious and stressed at the prospect of being judged by a group of strangers. What can job seekers do to mitigate their fear, take control, get through the interview process and get the job?
Prepare for Every Interview
The enemy of nervousness is preparedness. There are all kinds of things you should do to get ready for each interview. If you follow these tasks before every interview, it will lessen your stress and help you perform more effectively:
- Prepare by researching the company and, if possible, the people you are interviewing with.
- Develop a list of questions to ask the interviewer, from what is the corporate culture like to clarification on the job description.
- Practice interviewing with a friend, focusing on defending any gaps in employment on your resume and answering questions in a way that is positive, articulate and energetic.
Taking time to prepare for your interview isn’t much different from prepping for any big meeting. The key to nailing it is to do your homework before the event.
Stay Focused on the Positive
One mistake many candidates make is to bad-mouth their former employer. Even if your last boss was Attila the Hun, it’s important not to bring negativity into the interview process. All it does is make you, not your employer, look bad. Negativity has no place at work and certainly not in the first impression an employer has of you in the job interview. If you practice your interview techniques with a friend, make sure to work heavily on staying positive throughout the meeting.
Stay Strong and Don’t Give Up
It takes a lot of courage to interview, not get the position you wanted, and get back on the applicant horse by sending out more resumes. Just remember that you do not have everything riding on just one interview. We currently have historically record low unemployment, which means there are more job opportunities than there were even five years ago. So, stay confident and work to impress the potential employer, but know there will likely be other interviews for you to pursue.
Relax and Boost Your Confidence
Staying relaxed during an interview is easier said than done. But there are some techniques you can adapt to help you stay calmer and feel more in control before the interview starts. Here are some techniques to try:
- Play music on the way to the interview. Music can take your mind away from worrying and help eliminate some of the stress hormones circulating around your body. Your favorite song can energize you while soothing your frazzled nerves.
- Just taking time to breathe deeply is something most of us simply forget to do. That’s exactly why there are dozens of apps designed to remind you to breathe deep, clear your mind, and calm your stress. Anytime you experience anxiety, your body naturally wants to breathe more shallowly, so focus inward, breathe deep, and meet that interview head-on.
- Practice a little creative visualization before the interview by sitting quietly in a room and imagining what you would look like in the job you’re interviewing for. Visualize nailing the interview and getting an offer on the spot. Then imagine your first day at work and how much fun you’ll have.
While these are just a few interview tips, Top Stack recruiters are standing by to help nervous job candidates find, prepare for and win their next job. Contact us today.