Being anxious or nervous before an up and coming interview is a natural faze that every job seeker will face, and is a side effect from caring about the outcome of the interview. Even those that are accomplished at attending interviews will be battling their own nerves and may struggle to control them. It is important however that candidates learn how to deal with such feelings in a manner that will not ruin their chances of securing a job by becoming overwhelmed by emotion.
Below we have listed some handy methods candidates can employ to overcome their anxiety and land their dream career.
Learn what to expect
It is human nature to fear the unknown, so knowing the format of a typical interview together with the type of questions that could possibly be asked will all help you to relax and to be confident in how you come across. There are plenty of online self-help guides available to candidates that go through the most common interview questions. Our own blog "Answering the most common interview questions" is designed to give candidates a small taster about the typical interview questions likely to come up during an interview. We would always advise that you write up and memorise your responses so that you can answer with ease and clarity. If you feel confident about what to expect then this will come across to the interviewer in a way that is not robotic or rehearsed but natural.
Conversely there are plenty of videos online that talk about the do's and don'ts of what candidates need to know when they attend an interview. You will quickly realise that most interviews follow the same format and are not as intimidating as you might have expected. These videos range from dress codes, body language techniques and how candidates can answer some of the trickier interview questions like "why do you want to work here". In order to answer effectively candidates will need to have researched the company in question in detail. Details like the company's culture, expansion plans and values and how your skills would be suited to the company, will all help you to formulate an answer.
Conduct a mock interview run
Being late for an interview by getting lost through not knowing where you are going is bound to increase your stress levels and you will risk not being in a relaxed state of mind before the interview. Where possible one tactic to reduce nerves you can use is to make your way to the address of your interview the day before. This will help you to plan your route and to be comfortable with your surroundings. You can use this 'dry' run to plan an alternative route if necessary if you foresee any problems that could cause you to be late, such as parking issues. You may even find that you have to leave a lot earlier on the day of the interview to arrive on time, due to traffic.
Know what to wear before hand
Never take a chance on what you plan to wear to the interview on the day, as if you fail to find anything suitable this could possibly make you late. Have your clothes arranged and laid out in advanced, men should aim to wear black shoes with a sensible shirt and black or grey trousers. Women should wear sensible heals no more than 3 inches and should avoid low cut blouses, again a sensible colour scheme should be adhered to, such as blacks, greys and light browns. For both men and women we would suggest that strong perfumes and aftershaves should be avoided.
Taking simple steps to reduce your natural feelings of anxiety and nerves before you attend an interview is not very difficult and will help you to perform at your very best. Remember that online help is always available to candidates so your are always just a few clicks away from finding someone who has been through the process and can offer their own personal experiences.
Do you have any tips you wish to share as coping strategies before an interview? If so, then share them.
Written by Jennifer Megafu