You’re seated comfortably in a cushioned chair. Strangers occasionally enter and leave the premises. The secretary at the front desk asks if you want tea or coffee, and you politely decline. You know that your hands aren’t steady enough to hold a cup without spilling its contents. Suddenly, you spot a tall, lean man in a well-ironed suit. Your heart stops. He seems to be looking straight at you, no, he’s walking toward you!
Your heart starts up again, and picks up the pace as he gets closer. He addresses you by your name, which you can’t seem to remember for some reason, and asks that you follow him. Your mouth feels dry and you manage to mutter something incomprehensible. While you tail him, your heartbeat steadily increases and your hands turn pale. Your palms are covered with a thin film of sweat.
He opens a door and leads you into a room. You’re horrified to see 5 well-dressed figures sitting in front of you, ready to dissect you and move on to their next victim. You wish you could crawl into a hole and disappear.
Everyone Is Afraid
You just read the typical, if over-exaggerated, experience that most people have during a job interview. And let’s face it, whether you’re looking to be an accountant at a top firm or a chef in a 5-star restaurant, fear of job interviews is a common occurrence. It springs from a natural tendency to worry about security. We have a constant need to ensure that the future is a safe haven, and our mind does this during stressful situations like job interviews as well.
Your fear of not getting the job is completely justified. But worrying is pointless when the decision to employ you isn’t in your hands. A better approach would be to harness your nervous energy and channel it into making a great impression so that your interviewers find it difficult to turn you down. Not sure how to do that? Here are 3 tips for job interviews to help you work out your kinks.
The main cause for anxiety before and during an interview is a lack of preparation. Learn as much as you can about the firm you’re applying to, so that you have a better understanding of what their questions will be centered around. Ask acquaintances who have applied to the same company before; they can give you a breakdown of the entire process so that you’re ready for it.
Almost like when you were at school. Only this time it’ll actually help!
You can even visit the location of the interview on the previous day, so that you’re familiar with the environment. Do whatever you can to ensure that you’re more comfortable when it’s interview time.
Dress To Kill
This is one of the most essential interview skills that you need. You need to be able to exude confidence.
And what better way to do that than slipping on a pair of well-polished oxfords, well-fitted black trousers, and a crisply ironed shirt? Wear comfortable clothing, but don’t compromise on style; dress to impress.
When you know that you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you perform well. At an interview, that’s what you want to be doing.
Replicate his confidence, not the clothes!
Don’t be afraid to try out different clothing styles or even consult a fashion expert (read: well-dressed friend) if you have to. Wear clothes that suit your personality and put on your best smile to ace the interview.
Be In The Moment
You might think that spiritual mumbo-jumbo is not what you need right now, but being able to clear your mind of all thoughts is imperative for a great interview. Whether it’s meditating, taking deep breaths, or even playing the guitar, look for an activity that helps you disconnect from your racing thoughts.
If you do choose to play the guitar, it’s best that you do it alone, in your room
You can actively practice being in the moment by focusing on your senses before an interview. Pay attention to the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Eat comforting food and take a nice cold shower. Prepare this way and your mind will be the proverbial blank slate, ready to tackle any challenges that your interview presents.
It’s An Opportunity
Remember that every job interview is an opportunity to sharpen your communication skills and gather as much knowledge as you can, so that you can thrive in similar situations. So let go of the consequences. Do your best at the interview and keep in mind that job avenues will always be open to those willing to look.