So, you’ve written what seems to be millions of cover letters, your CV has been reformatted and re-worked in every way possible, and you have finally got what you’ve been waiting for–the phone call from the hiring company to schedule an interview!
If you are like me, your excitement quickly turns to panic. Suddenly, everything in your wardrobe doesn’t seem professional enough for the appointment, you’re worried that you will be asked questions that are too technical for you to impress the interviewer, or maybe the interview will be in a language that you struggle with.
Nearly everyone gets nervous to some degree before an interview. Some of us are on the job hunt for the first time, others for the first time in years, and some of us simply feel a lot of pressure when sitting across the table from the interviewer. Whatever your situation, there are many ways to deal with pre-interview jitters.
Prepare: Before your appointment, go over the job description of the position you will interview for. What are the key components? What experience and skills do you have that make you a good contender for the job? What is not included in the job description that you want to and should know (last month we wrote about bringing your own questions to the table)? Do you have any recommendation letters or work reference contact information that you can have prepared and printed at the time of the interview?
Prepare even more: The night before the interview you should know the location of the interview, how to get there, how long it takes to arrive, what the parking situation will be like, the clothes you plan to wear, is the hiring company’s phone number saved in your phone in the case of an unforeseen problem making you late? Yes, you should absolutely call if you will be late.
Consider your personal comfort: Some seasoned interviewees advise to dress appropriately for the interview, avoiding uncomfortable clothes and shoes. The Undercover Recruiter suggests that you listen to inspiring or relaxing music before your interview. Some have an on-call friend whom they can call in stressful moments like an interview and who always has the right, encouraging thing to say. It’s also suggested to sit or stand using a posture that helps build confidence and self-assuredness. You can also be honest with the interviewer, explaining that you are nervous about the interview.
If you struggle with anxiety, the best remedy is preventing mistakes, mishaps and uncertainty through rigorous preparation–leave nothing to chance! If you still can’t help feeling nervous, find what works for you to feel comfortable, confident, and relaxed. This is a necessary step in the process of making your next career move, so take advantage of the opportunity to make as good of an impression as possible, to find out the maximum amount of information about the hiring company and position, and to learn through experience for future interviews you may have.