You know the feeling. Sweaty palms, nervously tapping your foot in the lobby, fidgeting with your rings on each finger, waiting to meet with your potential new boss. Interviews can be a stress inducing, heart racing experience, but they don’t have to be. The secret? Preparation. Here’s how to reduce interview anxiety and make the stressful job interview a thing of the past.
Spend some time practicing the interview and speaking your answers out loud. Research the company you’re interviewing with, and even get to know their competition. Knowing what to say and how to respond to common interview questions can boost your confidence and help you to come across as poised and professional.
A great way to practice is with groups like Toastmasters International. They are committed to helping you build your communication and leadership skills. They provide a safe place to practice speaking in both large and smaller forums.
Career Coach Jennifer Blanck is a long time member of Toastmaster International and her 7 tips will help you ace that job interview with calm and ease:
1. Self-Awareness is Key
It’s important to know yourself. Take some time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, and have examples of each ready to share. Make sure you also have examples of the skill set required for the job, including past experiences.
2. Prepare, Prepare
Know the company you’re seeking employment from. Become familiar with the employer you’ll have the actual interview with. And have a thorough understanding of the specific role you’ll be playing within the company.
3. Be You
While it’s important to be professional and make a good first impression, you also want to make sure this job and company will be a good fit for you. By being yourself, you’re presenting a realistic representation to your potential new employer and also allowing yourself to see how well you fit into the environment. Some employers may create tests like the ones found at https://www.berkeassessment.com/solutions in order to audit how well you will fit into any existing team. Make sure you answer these questions honestly!
4. Don’t Make Assumptions
You turned in a great resume, but don’t assume the interviewer has a copy right in front of them or remembers every detail. Never miss an opportunity to point out your experience or applicable talent.
5. Stay Focused
Be specific with your answers and remain on topic when discussing the job and your roll. Share relevant examples of previous work that pertains the job you’re interviewing for. Practice these answers ahead of time so you’re less prone to rambling or going off topic.
6. Have Questions of Your Own
In most interviews, there comes a point when the interviewer asks if you have any questions. Now is your time to shine. Ask relevant questions that show you know the company, have an interest in the position, and shows initiative.
7. First Impressions Count
This is your opportunity to present your best and most professional self. Get to the interview early, dress how you would if you already had the job, turn off your cell phone, and stay focused in the moment. Be friendly with everyone you encounter, from the front desk to other customers.
For more in-depth help with how to ace your next job interview, read Jennifer Blanck’s 4-Step Formula to Acing Your Job Interview. You can also check out a local Toastmasters Club near you to practice your public speaking skills. With these tips and a little preparation, you’ll nail that stressful job interview and be on your way to the career of your dreams.