It’s natural to be nervous – especially before a big interview. But as any job seeker knows, anxiety can get the best of you – and affect your ability to articulate yourself under pressure.
Fortunately, there are ways to channel your fear into confidence (or at least excitement) before you leap into the spotlight. If you’re stressing out before your interview, here are a few tricks to ease your anxiety:
- Know your Stuff: Your preparedness is the biggest factor of your success. Knowing a few basic facts about the company you’re interviewing at is key. LinkedIn and Google are your best research tools – you have no excuse not to use them. At the same time, look up popular interview questions and see how quickly and effectively you can answer them. You know that old saying, “you can never be to prepared?” Make that your new interview mantra.
- Stick to Business: While its okay to chit-chat with your interviewer, you’ll find it’s easy to derail the focus (i.e you) if you start aimlessly shifting topics. You should always be selling yourself. Any conversation that isn’t slated around you is just filler and fluff. If you end the interview without having mentioned all your best attributes and selling points, then you missed the opportunity to fully market yourself. Release your fear of the unknown by focusing on the things you know – yourself and the company.
- Show ‘em What You’ve Got: Frame the interview around what you have to offer, not what the company has to offer you. Draw connections between yourself and the position, emphasizing how your personal fit will make your next boss’s job easier. Most interviewers aren’t there to trick you or to watch you squirm. They want to see you think on your feet and back yourself up with credible facts and figures about yourself and your past accomplishments. Try and draw connections wherever possible.
Finally, remember that an interview is really just a conversation between two people, that’s all! While it’s certainly an important conversation, whatever happens – you’ll be alright in the end. If you come prepared, stick to a plan, and put your best foot forward, you’ll find that your fear was all in your head.