Whether you’re entering the job market for the first time or a seasoned job seeker, the interview process can be an excruciating experience. It is the most rigorous part of the entire job search process as it screams stress and anxiety. From sweaty hands to nervous laughter, the interview process has been known to cause even the most qualified candidates to lose their cool. While it may be nearly impossible to enter an interview sans anxiety, there are ways to keep your nerves quieter. Here are four tips to help you stay calm, collected, and confident in your next interview.
Around 90 percent of success in job interviews is contributed to preparation. As with anything, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. In the days leading up to the interview, try role-playing with a friend to prepare answers for common interview questions. Use the following questions as a starting point:
Tell me about yourself.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Tell me about your most recent mistake. What did you do to fix it?
If you do background research on the company and prepare answers for common interview questions, you’ll feel more confident going into the interview. This keeps you from mumbling sloppy answers to questions you know you’ll be asked.
Nothing will make you more stressed than rushing around the day of the interview. Pick out your interview attire and print copies of your resume the day before the interview, so you aren’t dealing with any last minute wardrobe malfunctions or printer issues.
If you have an in person interview map out directions and allow yourself plenty of time to get there. Factor in time for bad weather, traffic, road closures, and/or getting lost. If your interview is over the phone, find a quiet space to take the call well before it’s time. You don’t want to have any background noise or other distractions that could interfere with the conversation.
Even if you’re feeling sleepy, avoid drinking large amounts of caffeine too close to the interview. Caffeine can actually strengthen your jitters and make you seem more nervous. An hour or so before the interview do a few deep breathing exercises or listen to some of your favorite music. These are great ways to relax before you walk through the door or answer the phone.
Be a Good Listener.
During the interview, be sure to smile no matter how nervous you are. When the interviewer is talking, maintain good eye contact and really listen to what they have to say. Don’t cut the speaker off or interject with questions. Many hiring managers have complained that some candidates seem too overeager and don’t even let them finish the question before they start answering. Take mental notes of key messages the interviewer reiterates. You’ll want to remember these for when you’re writing your follow up thank you note post interview.
Think Before You Speak.
Take a few seconds to make sure you fully understand questions and think before you speak. Taking a second or two to process information will help you remain collected and keep you from blurting out a less than intelligent response. Address the interviewer in the same way you would talk to a superior at your current job, a professor, or one of your parent’s friends; be polite and respectful. Recognize that the interviewer and you are probably more alike than you realize. The goal of the interview isn’t just to convey your accomplishments and skills. It’s also a test to see whether your personality is a good match with the organization’s culture. Therefore, it is important to be yourself and make a great first impression.
By staying confident, being prepared, and being all ears, you’ll be well on your way to landing that dream job. However, even if things don’t work out, take comfort in the fact that you were offered an interview. You wouldn’t be there if they didn’t think you were qualified for the job.
Interviewing in the healthcare sector? Let the experienced team at BOS Medical help. The need for talented, dedicated healthcare professionals is growing. That puts you in the driver’s seat — choose where and when you want to work. Team up with BOS to find just the right opportunity, whether you’re looking for long- or short-term work, or want to work locally or across the country. We have a variety of nursing jobs and employment opportunities in Athens, GA, Gainesville, GA, and beyond. Contact a recruiter today to learn more.