Overcoming Your Interview Fears
For some (AKA everyone), walking into an interview can evoke a myriad of uncomfortable emotions ranging from just a hint of nervousness to a crashing wave of panic. Similar to taking those first, uneasy steps into a haunted house, your heart begins to race, not because you are unsure of what your fears are but because of the mere possibility that you might come face to face with them.
While we don’t have a blanket “haunted house” blueprint to let you know exactly what’s lurking around every corner of an interview, we do have some simple suggestions that will help you confront your fears without so much as a shiver if they do manifest.
See these top 4 fears interviewees have before an interview and learn how you can stay in control of them:
Saying Something Foolish
Often times, when people are nervous, their natural instinct is to just keep talking. With an unfiltered slew of words funneling from your brain to your tongue, sometimes what you intended to say finds itself in direct disagreement with what you actually uttered.
If you’re afraid that this will happen to you, remember to take a breath. A one or two second pause before responding to a question will allow you to quickly collect your thoughts and pace yourself. Focus on that which you know and try not to posit ideas about that which you have no experience. Once you feel that you’ve sufficiently answered their question, take a pause and let your interviewer be the one to decide if you need to expound further.
An interview, by definition, is an introductory meeting where a hiring manager is judging whether or not you will be a good fit within an organization. Without knowing exactly what the interviewer is looking for, this can often make people feel self-conscious
If you’re concerned about arriving over or under-dressed, ask what the dress code is when you are accepting the interview. If that is not an option, review the company’s website and social media pages to draw inferences about their company culture and what is deemed to be acceptable work attire.
If you are known to have nervous compulsions such as shaking your leg, fidgeting your fingers, or not making direct eye contact, have a practice interview with a friend, asking them to pay close attention to your body language. After a few practice rounds, you should be able to find what your triggers are and develop a method to counteract them.
If you are worried about being judged for any of your other physical attributes or personality, take solace in the fact that if they don’t hire you for one of those reasons, then you are dodging a bullet.
On occasion you may apply for a job thinking that it’s a long shot and then you get “the call”. If you find yourself thinking that there is no way you are going to get the job, focus on the reasons why they should hire you instead of dwelling on why they shouldn’t .
Hiring managers sift through dozens (sometimes hundreds) of resumes looking for their perfect candidate and they chose YOU to speak with! That alone speaks volumes about your experience and skill set. Remember that your idea of the perfect candidate may be completely different from theirs.
Forgetting Your Key Points
We’ve all had those moments where as soon as we open our mouth to speak, the only thing that comes out is a nervous “Ummm…” as sweat begins to form on our brow. And while blanking out can be embarrassing, it happens to the best of us.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to prepare. As mentioned before, take some time to have a mock interview. Write out your key points the night before your interview and review them until you feel comfortable.
If you still feel like you may forget something, put together a small portfolio or presentation to share with your interviewer. You can use this to guide you through your train of thought, making sure no stone is left unturned.
Keeping these thoughts in mind before your next interview, you can be confident that no matter what situation you find yourself in, you will be prepared to handle it head-on.