No matter how many times you do it, job interviews can be nerve-wracking. It does not have to be like that! Preparation is the key to success. As Seneca said: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. I am going to share with you four simple tips to make you feel confident during your interview.
1. Think of your WHY
The question of why you are interested in this particular role and company appears in all sorts of interviews. Many candidates say what they think recruiters want to hear. Around 90% of the answers I hear the daily sound more or less like this: I want to develop my skills and grow in an international organization. Asking probing questions helps to get a more precise explanation in at least 30% of the remaining cases. I am sure you can do better than that! First of all, try to remember what initially drove you to click the “apply” button. How did you feel, what aspects of the job specifications made you trilled? What did you think of the company, what areas of the company culture appealed to you? Are there any similarities between your values and company values?
It is vital to structure your answer well. To do so, analyze the job description. Focus on the skills, knowledge, professional and personal qualities required by the employer, critical for success in the job. Then, think of your talents and strengths, related skills and experience, training, and certifications. It will be a good idea to write them down. Next, try to find a match between your assets and the qualities that the company is seeking. Highlight how your experience compliments the company resources. Also, research the company thoroughly. You can find out a lot about the culture of a company before the interview. Many firms are proud to advertise the kind of culture they are trying to create. If you feel the culture aligns well with your preferences and abilities, make it clear in the interview.
Last but not least, try to sound enthusiastic, show that you want the job!
2. Prepare & Practice
Try to anticipate the interview questions. It will be very wise to think carefully about what skills, accomplishments, and interview topics will resonate with your interviewers most. You may write down the questions you are likely to be asked. Some of them may include:
- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
- What interests you about this opening?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What experience do you have in _____? (fill in with the “must-have” skills or responsibilities from the job description)
- What are your current responsibilities?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What motivates you at work?
You may write down your answers. Practicing interviewing with a friend or family member ahead of time will make it easier when you’re actually in a job interview. If you do not have another person, practice your questions and answers out loud. It may seem weird at first, but it will give you more confidence during the real interview. Also, if you hear that your answer does not sound convincing, or it does not convey what you wish to express, it is a chance to polish it.
3. Be on time:
- Check the location in advance. Nowadays, it’s very likely that your meeting will be online. It is a good idea to check whether you need to download or install any software in advance.
- Leave early.
- But try not to arrive too early. Punctuality is essential, but I have seen candidates coming for interviews 45 minutes ahead of time. It may be uncomfortable. It’s better not to arrive more than 10 – 15 minutes earlier. But if you did, find a cafeteria and relax.
- Save the interview contact information: even if you carefully plan your trip, traffic may get out of hand. Accidents happen as well. If you know you might be late, call the person who will be interviewing you. Most people are empathetic to these situations and understand that some things just cannot be helped, especially if you inform them in advance and have a reasonable explanation.
.4. Relax, you will do fine.
Practicing and repeating your answers will give you the confidence that you need. If you still feel nervous, try to figure out what stresses you the most. It may be your salary expectations or an unemployment gap. Imagine that the uncomfortable question will be asked and prepare a strategy on how to deal with it. Practice until you are at ease with it.
Just before the interview:
- Go for a short walk before you enter the building. It will clear your head.
- Breed deeply – inhale, and as you exhale, imagine that your body relaxes and all the tension fades away.
- Remember about your posture: keeping your spine erect will make you look and feel more confident.
- Keep in mind that the interviewers want you to succeed. They also aim to represent their company well, so not all the pressure is on you.
- A smile will help you to relax. You will also come across as a more likable person.
Last but not least, enjoy the experience! Even though job interviews are stressful, each of them is a new experience. We should not be afraid to make mistakes. That is how we learn. Take delight in this experience and hopefully land your dream job!
Wishing you all successful job interviews,