"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it." -Lou Holtz
The stress, anxiety, and overall difficulty of preparing for a job interview are heightened if it is your first one.
Questions such as, how will I ace the interview? How shall I dress to make a good impression? How will I answer difficult questions without showing any weakness? Which gestures should I use to project confident body language? How will you negotiate my salary?
All of the previously posed questions stay on the minds of first-time interviewees for days and are significant sources of insomnia and worry.
But why so much stress?
Even if employment rates are falling, in the UK for example, the employment rate has been the lowest since 1975, economic uncertainty can weigh on people's minds causing them to feel uncertain about employment in the future. Therefore, since the competition to secure an excellent job with benefits and a good salary is fierce, interviewees feel that they have to ace the recruitment interview to keep unemployment thoughts at bay.
Therefore, without further delay, Superprof is here to provide helpful tips that will aid job seekers to reduce stress and be their charming selves during the interview process!
Visualise the Job Interview
Want to know our first tip? The first piece of advice to reduce stress and ensure success is to visualise how the job interview will take place.
By causing your brain to visualise the scene, your mind will be made up, and you will not be so nervous because you will have a general idea of what is needed to succeed.
Like the rehearsal for a big game or a play, imagine your arrival at the company's office or recruitment lounge.
Will you be alone in the waiting room? Will you greet those near you to forget about the interview and focus about something else? Or will you be visualising what to say?
By entering the interview location with a big smile and good posture, positive body language is transmitted to the recruiter who develops the idea that you are confident and trust in your abilities. The handshake must be firm because recruiters realise that a weak greeting means you lack confidence or don't care. All of these gestures and body language techniques will give the recruiter a positive impression before the first word is uttered.
Try to imagine the interview as a friendly conversation between two friends. Be fluid and relaxed; avoid being too severe and unpleasant.
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Ask Yourself the Right Questions
Having stage fright is entirely reasonable, and if you were not afraid, we would start to question if you were human! Nevertheless, think about what is causing you anxiety about the interview.
Why I am afraid?
While it is true that the recruiter has the power of giving you a job that could kickstart your career and change your career, being too fearful makes it difficult for everyone.
Therefore, to help interviewees avoid sleepless nights and irrational anxiety, the following are some intriguing questions to identify the exact fear of the interview:
- Am I afraid to be judged too harshly?
- Am I afraid that I will stay unemployed forever if I don't nail this interview?
- Am I afraid that my qualifications leave a lot to be desired?
- Is my CV insufficient?
By analysing the previously mentioned questions, the root of your fear will be discovered, and you will know how to move forward effectively.
It is highly recommended to create and rehearse your introduction and specific questions that the recruiter may ask. By practising over and over, the chances of stumbling over words and overall anxiety are reduced. It may sound ridiculous to some, but hey it works!
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Reflect on Your Strengths and Weaknesses
No matter how many interviews you have had, it is still an anxiety-filled experience that causes even the most experienced professionals stress.
Writing an excellent resume and cover letter is one thing but knowing how to answer questions the recruiter may have about your experiences and qualifications is another ball game!
Since the interviewer has already read the CV you sent in, the interview experience is a chance for the recruiter to test your personality and see if you would be an excellent fit for the job position in question. Therefore, it becomes necessary to focus on your strengths and weaknesses beforehand since they will be analysed during the interview.
Create a list on a piece of paper outlining your strengths and weaknesses in different columns; this can help reduce anxiety and make the interview process more serene.
For example, during the interview, you may say, "I completely understand that my CV and previous work experiences are not relevant to this specific job position but I learn extremely quickly, I can adapt to any situations, and I thoroughly enjoy teamwork."
Who wouldn't want to hire you!
Above all, by making a list of weaknesses, you will be better equipped to answer difficult questions or destabilising issues that are voluntarily asked by the recruiter to see how you perform under pressure.
Recruiters are not ruthless individuals who want to see you fail instead they are thoroughly interested in the needs of the company and want to gauge how you handle stressful situations, to analyse if you are an active or passive person and if you are a quick decision maker.
While being shy, anxious, or inexperienced during an interview is less than favourable, recruiters much prefer these flaws than someone arrogant, late, and far too talkative!
Change Your Attitude: Don't Discourage Yourself
In the face of stressful situations, we often hear a little voice that has the goal of discouraging instead of helping us succeed.
You have no relevant skills, your cover letter is a joke, you'll never amount to anything, they are going to give the job to another candidate: we've heard it all before!
The negative thoughts we have only prevent us from doing our best and speaking with courage and confidence during the interview.
Therefore, if we want to succeed, we must not listen to our insecurities because they do not reflect reality.
To win the war over anxiety and negative thinking, we need to fill our minds with positive thoughts. Consider imagining yourself with the job and the beautiful things you can buy with your new big fat paycheck!
Furthermore, how shall one dress for a job interview?
Learn More About the Company
Would apply for a management position or even first job without inquiring about the company's activities, economic condition, or working environment? Certainly, not.
It is highly recommended to browse the company's website and social network pages to gather all the necessary information about the company's philosophy, management team, recent developments, market shares, and services or products offered.
The candidate must be well educated about the company he or she is interviewing for to know exactly what to expect.
Also, during the interview, the recruiter may ask why you applied for this job, and by having acquired information, you can justify your decisions and show sincere interest.
In an interview, you must seduce or influence the recruiter to think that there is no one else who is perfectly capable of completing this job.
Are there any other tips to win over recruiters from the beginning?
Prepare Questions to Ask the Interviewer
To stand out as exceptional among the other candidates asking questions may be a brilliant idea.
By asking about things ahead of time, you prevent the employer from requesting, do you have any questions? When interviewees do not ask any questions, the employer may feel that they are unmotivated, genuinely uninterested, and not committed.
Therefore, asking your questions is an opportunity to score points with the recruiter since it helps emphasise your overall interest in the proposed position. So, by preparing one or two items in advance, stressed is reduced since things get turned around and the employer is talking for once and not only the candidate!
The following are some questions that can be asked to the recruiter, which could surprise them pleasantly:
- What do you expect from an ideal collaborator?
- What do you personally like about working for the company?
- What benefits do you expect from this recruitment?
- If I am hired, what is the yearly salary?
All of the previously mentioned questions are incredibly effective, especially the one about the salary; you have to know what to say and what you expect from the company.
In certain situations, recruiters do not appreciate questions; however, do not fret the majority view questions by the candidate as a great sign that shows interest!
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Develop a Good Posture
To be taken seriously by recruiters as someone confident, it is of the utmost importance to improve your posture. On the other hand, if its a phone interview, you must work on your voice.
How does one practice and work on his voice?
By doing vocalisations, breathing exercises, reciting words of speech, and working on articulation.
There are many resources online to practise speech; try to do some that have you repeat sentences faster and faster!
We got a little distracted, now let's talk about posture.
What is a good posture to have at a job interview?
If you are standing for a few minutes in front of the recruiter, your back should be straight, chest slightly bent forward, legs stretched out to the floor in a parallel position, and feet flat on the ground. Also, it is essential to state that putting your hands on your hips and raising your chin should demonstrate to the recruiter that you are a confident person.
If you are in a sitting position, the same rules apply for when you are standing: sitting well, back straight, and with your feet flat on the ground.
We cannot stress good posture enough since non-verbal communication accounts for the majority of the exchange between the recruiter and the candidate.
Stay Calm By Implementing Breathing Techniques
If the recruiter senses that by your body language, voice, and breathing that you are too stressed and as a result are fidgeting like an idiot, they will not want to hire you!
To be relaxed during the interview, time and preparation are needed; breathing and meditation techniques in the comfort of your home help to reduce stress before the big day. For example, breath slowly through your stomach, inhale for five seconds, and then exhale calmly for five seconds; repeat this exercise three times.
Practical breathing exercises will lower the heart rate and encourage relaxation.
For more information about breathing techniques, check out the many informative online resources.
By implementing breathing techniques in your routine in the days leading up to your interview, you will come across as relaxed, completely chill, and irresistible!
Are there other suggestions to prepare for an interview?