Your hands are shaking as you sit on an uncomfortable chair sporting your best business suit. The job interview you’ve worked hard to get is mere minutes away, and the quietude of the reception area you’re waiting in is failing to cool your sweaty palms.
Although yours might be an extreme reaction, you’re not alone – studies have shown that 92 per cent of people are anxious about job interviews.
Some, however, are more expert at hiding their job-seeking angst than others. A few people even use that fear as a motivating factor to push them through the strain of the interview process. They might look calm and composed, but it’s all a clever act – a magic trick that hides the tension lurking within.
To give you a little insight in to how to better overcome the jitters, we’ve come up with eight methods to combat those interview nerves. Try them and you’ll be able to meet your prospective employers with a smile, a steady voice and a firm handshake.
1. Prepare the night before
The morning rush might plague you before you head to work in the morning – but don’t let it affect you before a job interview.
Before you go to sleep in the evening, have a full breakfast planned, your interview outfit laid out and your alarm set to give you enough time to get ready at a reasonable pace. At the very least, this’ll stop you showing up to your interview red-faced and covered in sweat
2. (Almost) know your interview questions
You can’t know every question you’ll be asked during an interview, but you can hazard a guess. Figure out potential questions using the person specification for the job, and memorise answers that you can present in a lucid, seemingly spontaneous way.
Get a friend to read questions to you and practise your responses until you’ve got them down to a tee. Also get them to make up a few questions of their own to test how well you can cope under pressure.
3. Chat beforehand
You don’t have to go into an interview blind. If you contact a few people in the company you’re applying for, they might be willing to have a chat about the role. They might even give you the lowdown on the person who’ll be interviewing you.
4. Know your travel route
A simple one: figure out your exact route of travel before your interview and, if you can, try it out a few days beforehand.
If you’re unable to travel to the interview location before your meeting date, make sure you leave enough time to account for delays or traffic jams. Who knows what obstacles you’ll face when the clock is ticking.
5. Be likeable
It costs nothing to be nice, but some people struggle with politeness when they’re feeling pressured.
But aiming to be well-liked by your interviewer can help you secure a job – and will remove some of the tension from the room.
You don’t have to overdo it, but making a simple connection with your interviewer will impress them and put you at ease.
6. Don’t worry about appearing arrogant
Talking about yourself in positive language isn’t in most people’s nature. It can feel cocky and arrogant, like telling your friends the price of your new sports car. But in an arena where you’re emphasising your biggest assets to your new employer, selling your skills, experiences and successes is essential.
7. Remember why you’ve been chosen
And speaking of confidence, there’s a reason why you’re sitting outside that interview room. You’ve already shown you’ve got the skills for the job in your CV. Now it’s just time to seal the deal with a little spark of knowledge when you meet your prospective employer.
8. Walk away with a smile
No matter how well or badly you’ve performed, it’s important to leave the interview room as confidently as you entered it.
To test out your newfound interview acumen, you’ll first have to apply. So take a look at our listings page and advance your career today. Also, be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn for all the latest industry information and job-hunting tips.