Stay Calm During a Tough Interview

When you’re looking for a job, it feels amazing to finally get an  interview.  Unfortunately, that elation is often short lived as the process becomes increasingly stressful.  This is not improved by the fact that some employers use stress interviews as a strategy to assess whether candidates would be a good fit for the job.  Here are some tips that will help you navigate your way through difficult interviews:

Do Your Homework.  Never go to an interview unless you are properly prepared.  Research the company so that you are aware of their values and priorities.  Have a clear understanding of the requirements of the job.  Try to find out about the organizational culture so that you can make the right decision about what to wear to the interview.

Treat it Like a Conversation.  There is no doubt that interviews are intimidating, but in the moment it’s really just a conversation where the employer is trying to get to know you.  Remove the fear behind the job interview by imagining that you’re just meeting someone for a coffee.

Be positive.  What does the conversation in your mind sound like?  Are you building yourself up or beating yourself up?  Try to talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend who is about to attend a job interview.  The content of your self-talk can make a significant difference in the way that you perform.

Watch your body language.  Sit up straight, don’t fidget and look the employer in the eye.  If you appear confident, you will feel confident and the employer will be more likely to respond positively to you.

Know what you have to offer.  What are your strengths as they relate to the specific job?  What about your skills and experience will get this employer excited?  When you know what you have to offer, it is much easier to stay relaxed during a tough interview.

Even the most confident among us sometimes get rattled at job interviews.  Just being nervous doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to perform badly.  In fact, employers like hiring candidates that are a little nervous because it shows that they care about the job.  The key is to stay focused and to show the employer that you are well equipped to meet the needs of the company.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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