Overcome Your Fear of Job Interviews
Let's face it - job interviews can be intimidating! Answering an array of questions can make you feel like you're under a microscope. Everyone wants to impress potential employers, and knowing that this interview may be your only chance to do so, can make the experience stressful. So, how can you overcome this awkwardness and let your true potential shine through? Our advice is to just "BE!"
Be Positive: The first thing you need to do is to think positively! After all, your resume made it through the first selection process. So, you obviously have the necessary skills and experience. Now, you need to convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job!
Be Prepared: If you are not familiar with this company, conduct some research before your interview. If they have a web site, then it likely contains information about the company's background, services and office locations. At a minimum, you should know the basics about the company, especially since you could be working for them one day.
Be Courteous and Professional: Professionalism and communication skills are important to all companies. Your interview is an opportunity for you to show your capabilities in these two areas. Here are a few tips:
- Dress in conservative, business attire.
- Give a professional and polite handshake, accompanied by a brief but firm grip and a smile.
- Maintain good eye contact at all times.
- Wait for the interviewer to motion you to a seat when you enter a room. Sit up straight in your chair with proper posture. It is best not to fold or cross your arms or hold anything in front of your body.
- Speak clearly and slowly. Observe the style and pace of the interviewer and copy it. Keep your conversation uniform. You don't want to come across as too humorous or too serious.
Be Thoughtful When Responding to Questions: You will likely be asked a variety of questions. Carefully think through your responses before you reply.
- Listen before you speak! Do not cut off the interviewer in the middle of a sentence.
- Repeat a question for clarification to be sure you are answering it correctly.
- Do not ramble.
- Take your time answering questions. Silence is okay and sometimes appropriate!
- Relate work experience, education, training and personality characteristics to the particular job for which you are applying.
- Communicate information that is meaningful, relevant and positive.
- Keep your answers brief and to the point, but thorough.
- Do not discuss pay rate or compensation during the interview; these discussions can take place later.
- Look for an opportunity to share your accomplishments. Throughout the interview, stress what value you can contribute to the job. Speak in terms of what you have made, saved or achieved.
- Convey affirmative qualities. Always turn negatives into positives.
Be You: The best way to overcome anxiety is just to relax. Try to view the meeting as something that is as beneficial to you as it is the employer. The interview process is an opportunity for the company to get to know you, however, it is also your opportunity to find out more about them. Skills and experience are not the only things that make for a good fit. Personality and company culture are just as important, especially since this is where you will be spending a greater part of your time each day. So, take some pressure off and think of this as your chance to find out more about the company and see if it is right for you!
The interview process doesn't have to be intimidating. If you want the job, don't be afraid to let the interviewer know. You can take control of the situation, instead of letting it control you. Think positively! You didn't get to the interview by mistake. All you need to do now is let your true self shine through!