Interviews are often stressful, especially if you’ve been to a lot of them and you still haven’t successfully landed your dream role. However, if you are willing to change how you think about interviews in general, much of your stress will disappear.
The reason why people get very anxious about interviews is that they feel the need to impress their interviewers to the point that they are willing to sacrifice their comfort and go overboard. While there’s nothing wrong with impressing the interviewer or your future bosses, being yourself is the best way to show how suitable you are for the role.
Follow the steps below for a less stressful interview:
1) Go for a Position You Love
It’s a good idea to apply for a job that you’re sure you’d enjoy doing. When you have a genuine interest in a position, you’d surely do what it takes to get that job, figure it out and succeed in it. Having the same passion or firm belief in the company’s advocacies and objectives will set you apart from other applicants and boost your confidence during the interview.
If you don’t know what you’re passionate about just yet, it’s a good time to take some tests to discover where you’d fit best. For instance, you could take psychometric tests or SHL tests to determine your core skills and find job positions or careers where you’d be most suitable.
2) Prepare, but Don’t Over-Prepare
Sometimes, people are so nervous about being interviewed that they tend to over-prepare for it. Because job seekers want to seem perfect, they worry too much about little details such as how to wear their hair, whether they’d smile or not or how they will shake the interviewer’s hand. The problem with this is that it’s too much for the brain, and it causes additional anxiety.
Make sure to do your research about the company you are applying for and think about some of the standard interview questions that are likely to be asked by the interviewer. Beyond this, don’t get wrapped up in trying to be perfect. Remember, it’s impossible to please everyone and try to put your best foot forward.
3) Be Comfortable
Get a good night’s rest the night before your interview. Have documents and anything they have requested printed out ahead of time. Eat a nutritious meal that won’t have adverse effects on your stomach, breath or anything else. Dress professionally. Wear deodorant, and be freshly showered, but do not wear a lot of perfume or cologne because people are put off by strong smells.
Make sure you allot enough time for travel, so you don’t get stressed out about coming in late or missing your opportunity because of unfortunate events along the way. If you arrive earlier than expected, take the time to listen to music to calm yourself.
Bottom line: be confident, but also comfortable.
4) Flip the Script
You need to understand the relationship an employee has with an employer. The company needs someone who will work for them. They might walk into the room with the attitude of “Do I want you to work for me?” However, you need to understand that you’re providing your services and they are paying you for what you do for them, so they’re entitled to express that attitude.
But, just as much as they are trying to find out whether you are meant for the job, you should also ask yourself whether they’re someone you want to work for. Go into your interview knowing that you’re a valuable asset. The goal for your interaction is to make sure you’re a good fit for each other, so avoid being wordy and be straight to the point so you won’t sound as if you’re reading a script.
5) Look at Your Interview as a Positive Experience
Be prepared to learn from your interview no matter what result you may get. Most people walk into an interview wondering if they’re good enough. While it’s good to ask the right questions at the right time, make sure you’re prepared in case the interviewer throws your questions back to you. Enjoy the conversation but don’t get too carried away.
In case your interviewer decides to do a panel interview, make sure you listen carefully to other speakers in the room and don’t interrupt unless you are directly asked. You can learn from other candidates and observe how they carry themselves or think when they’re under pressure.
6) Don’t Pretend to be Someone You’re Not
Interviewers know how to read people well. Trying to be something or someone you’re not will make you feel nervous and stressed. It will cause your brain to over-analyze the situation or the questions they ask you.
Sometimes, job-seekers over-promise and pretend to know something because they want to get hired. The danger in doing this is that the company will eventually learn who you are once you’ve filled the role and if you’re unable to deliver what you promised, they might have to find someone else.
7) Understand That You’re Going to See the Worse
The position you applied for won’t be as scary as you think it’ll be, but your interviewer is going to ask you questions based upon worst case scenarios. Your interviewer wants to see how you perform under pressure but remember to keep calm and think logically.
The job may not be as critical as your interviewer describes it, but if you’re able to demonstrate your capabilities and communicate well even under pressure, they’ll surely prefer to hire you over people who break down or get emotional during interviews.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re going to have some jitters, and it’s normal. If you follow these tips, you’re not only going to have a less stressful interview, but you might also land the job you’ve been dreaming about.
Your interview is only the first step towards achieving your career goals so make sure you make the most out of it.