It seems to be a fairly common thing for people to be nervous before an interview. All of us know that being nervous doesn’t actually help, but it’s a hard thing to overcome. For those who struggle with confidence, interviews can be especially nerve-racking. The good thing is that there are some things that you can do to strengthen your confidence. Here are a couple practical tips for those job seekers out there:
A lot of the nerves seem to come from uncertainty. When we get that request for an interview, the questions start popping up in our mind – What are they going to ask me? What am I going to say? What if I mess it up? These questions can be overwhelming and lead to nervousness.
Keep in mind, this is just another meeting. When you prepare for a meeting, you walk in with much more confidence than if you are unprepared. Preparation will boost your confidence. How do you prepare for an interview when you don’t know what they will ask? Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed with the unknowns. Here are some ways to prepare without knowing the exact questions:
Read and re-read the job description (know exactly what they are looking for).
Think through your skills, experiences and accomplishments and how they align to what they are looking for.
If there are apparent weaknesses in relation to the job, be ready to articulate how you will overcome those areas.
Be prepared for standard interview questions – Why are you leaving your current job? Why are you interested in this job? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are your career aspirations?
If there are areas of the job that you are unfamiliar with, do as much research as you can.
When you have all of your skills, experience, and accomplishments at the top of your mind, you will be better prepared to discuss how you will be able to perform the role. Sure, there may be some obscure question asked, but thinking through these things prepares you for the bulk of the interview.
Eliminate the thoughts that you need to put on an act. Feeling that you have to be someone else in order to get the job can add to feelings of nervousness. If you have to be someone else in order to get the role, you may want to look for something else. Be confident in your skills. If there is something that you don’t know, don’t try to act like you do. Be honest, but also be prepared to discuss how you will overcome any obstacles or areas where you are lacking experience. Yes, be honest, but don’t undersell yourself either. People appreciate honesty, self-awareness, and genuineness (or at least they should). Eliminating the feeling that you need act like someone else should help to eliminate some of the nerves.
Caveat – Although you should not try to be someone else, you should act in a way that is appropriate to the setting. Don’t come in and put your feet on the desk because you are being true to your casual self. Acting in an appropriately professional manner is not putting on an act. It’s just common sense.
Don’t Give In To Your Nerves
Remind yourself that being nervous is actually counterproductive. It will cause more harm than good. Once you identify this, it will hopefully be easier to put the nerves in their proper place. Think about it – you are nervous about doing a bad job in the interview, yet the nerves will inhibit your ability to interview at your best. Don’t give in to the nerves!
It’s normal to be nervous before an interview. Do what you can to prepare, then walk into the interview with confidence. Doing these things will hopefully mitigate the nervousness, and help you to be at your best in the interview. Happy job searching!
“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em: ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it. – Theodore Roosevelt
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