Nail Your Interview with These Routines
Attending a job interview can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in any of our lives, especially if it’s a chance to take another step toward achieving the career of our dreams. The trouble with nerves, however, is that they turn us into stuttering, stammering shadows of ourselves, and prevent us from putting forward the best representation of ourselves when it matters most!
Here at Vocamotive we want to change that, so we’re doing to share six tips that will help you stay cool, calm and collected while you’re being interviewed. Follow this advice and you’ll have employers eating out of your hand and begging you to start work before the meeting is even over.
Do Your Homework
It goes without saying that you should spend plenty of time and effort researching the company that you’re meeting with, but don’t just parrot back what’s written on their corporate website. Guess what – they work there, and already know all that. Instead, spend a little time thinking outside the box.
Firstly, look into business competitors. What are they doing well, and where are they falling short? Learn everything you can about the sector and you’ll be able to impress the company by sharing insights that they may not even have thought about themselves. Look for a particularly successful case study from the company you’re interviewing with too, such as something that made the mainstream media. This will equip you to fill any silences with confidence and relevant conversation – and you’ll feel much calmer heading in knowing that you have an Ace up your sleeve.
Of course, you should also investigate the LinkedIn profiles of the people interviewing you. Firstly this will give you an idea of how seriously they take their online presence, but you’ll also be more relaxed if you know a little about the person you’re meeting, rather than seeing them as anonymous gatekeepers to your career aspirations.
What’s their working background? Where did they go to college? This is useful information for ice-breaking conversation that will set you at ease when you arrive. And while you’re online, make sure there are no embarrassing photos on your own social media accounts, as your interviewer will probably be doing the same thing!
Think About What You Want
Here’s a common mistake that we’re all guilty of when it comes to interviews – we’re so busy trying to impress the people on the company side of the desk that we forget that the meeting is for our benefit, too!
Before you head into your meeting, clear your head and think about what you are hoping to get out of the job when they inevitably offer it you. Which they will. You know what you bring to the table, so make sure you’re ready to be clear about that in your own mind – but also give plenty of thought about what you want in return, should you decide to accept the job.
Is the salary appropriate for your skill and experience? Will you have a parking space? Are the hours flexible if you have other commitments? What’s the company culture? Remember, you are interviewing this business just as much as they are interviewing you.
Keep that mind, writing it down the night before the meeting if necessary, and you’ll be able to retain some control over your nerves – and your confidence and composure will impress the interviewers. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions (when appropriate!), and most businesses will actively encourage it during the interview process.
Clothes may not make the man or woman, but dressing appropriately can have a huge impact on how we feel in a professional setting. Taking the time to prepare everything in advance will take a lot of stress of out of the interview day itself.
Try on your suit or outfit the night before, ensuring that everything fits appropriately, and then lay the clothes out or hang them to prevent any creases. Give your shoes a thorough polish, so you’re ready to step straight into them and feel great. If you need to shave, and can get away with doing so the night before, do so then – cuts and shreds of toilet paper on your chin are not a good look for anybody. Get a haircut a few days before the interview, so you’re not walking in looking like a kid on their first day at school.
Go easy on the perfume of cologne on the day of the interview – there’s nothing wrong with a classy scent that makes you feel expensive, but nobody wants to feel like their office is doubling up as the fragrance counter of a department store – and dab a little water on your wrists and behind your ears. These are pressure points for stress and anxiety, and will keeping them cool will help keep your nerves under control.
Arrive Early – But Don’t Tell Them
When it comes to job interviews it’s better to be an hour early than a minute late – but the truth is, both are just as frustrating for the interviewer. The best possible way to prepare yourself is to actually arrive in plenty of time to ensure that there are no mishaps with traffic, street closures or public transport, but don’t head into the building until ten minutes before the interview is due to start.
Find the building, and hang back and observe from a safe distance. You’ll be able to watch the current employees coming and going, and get a feel for the place through this. How are they dressed? How are they carrying themselves? Are they relaxed, or gravely serious? In many respects, this will teach you more about the business and their culture than any interview will be able to offer, and give you a real insight into how it will be to work there.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should be too informal during the meeting, no matter how relaxed the staff appear to be. You will, however, be able to humanize your interviewers. Rather than ogres that can make and break your dreams, they’re people just like you – it never hurts to have a reminder of this!
Build a Music Playlist
We’re willing to wager that you use music playlists to get you psyched and cooled down in other aspects of your life, such as hitting the gym, so why should a good interview be any different? Music can be a great way of manipulating our moods, and a handful of carefully cultivated favorite songs can be a great way of keeping on top of your nerves.
Start the day with something that gets you psyched and ready to take on the world before you’ve even swung your legs out of bed in the morning. Follow that up with something jolly that keeps a smile on your face – you want to be feeling happy when you head into the room, as the smile that accompanies your handshake can be key to giving a good first impression. Consider something a little more low-key to cool your pulse just before you head in so you’re not too pumped, and then line up a track for the immediate aftermath to take your mind off the meeting itself and get your head back into the ‘real world’.
Choose a Prop
A well-chosen prop can be a hugely important and useful weapon in your arsenal when it comes to an interview. Pick your prop before you head in – a folder of documents or items of jewelry are great examples – and practice using these props to keep a steady rhythm of speech cadence.
When we’re nervous, many of us tend to speak quickly, or tail off as we start to question ourselves. If you have a folder that contains your resume and some previous work samples, you can teach yourself to take a moment to breathe and say, “I actually have something relevant to answer that question here” – why tell when you can show?
Likewise, if you have a ring on your finger that’s kept out of sight, you can practice twirling it at a pace that matches your optimum speech pattern. If you twist the ring around your finger while you speak, you’ll be able to ensure that you are talking at a steady, stable rhythm and stave off the temptation to babble.
If all else fails, practice taking a sip of water whenever you feel your nerves start to rise – buying yourself a few precious seconds of thinking time can make all the difference.
Last Updated on January 2, 2018 by VocaAdmin