In my role as a career coach, I’ve helped thousands of clients in obtaining better roles. I see firsthand how stressed out people get about preparing for job interviews, and I know how nerve-wracking the entire process can be. I have found there are three key strategies for overcoming this anxiety while preparing yourself for a successful interview.
1. DO know the role.
Do your research so that you have a clear picture of what the role will involve and what the company's needs are. What are their pain points? Conduct an online search for recent news stories about the company, familiarize yourself with the industry. It helps to read up on their competitors. The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to illustrate your value and relate your skills to the specific duties of the job.
Tip: Come prepared to ask your interviewer questions. Thoughtful inquiries demonstrate your interest in the position and showcase your industry knowledge. Here are some examples:
What expectations will there be for this role during the first 30 days, 60 days, year? What are the greatest challenges currently facing the department? How have past employees been successful in this position? How do you see this role evolving over the next 1-2 years?
2. DON’T worry about answering the interview questions.
Here’s a little trick that I teach my clients: The interviewer isn’t interested in whether you are giving the ‘right’ answer to their questions. They are trying to get to know you and acquire a clearer picture of your capabilities. Each question is an opportunity to brag about a past win, so ensure your successes are fresh in your memory.
Tip: Compile five or more examples of instances where you excelled at a task or overcame an obstacle. Practice telling these anecdotes until your delivery doesn’t sound scripted. Once these examples have been committed to your memory, you can easily tweak them to work for almost any interview questions.
Bonus: Any question that involves a weakness can be used as an opportunity to talk about an area in which you’ve grown, or an instance where you overcame an obstacle. If you can demonstrate how this would positively impact your performance in the given role, you’ll make an even better impression.
3. DO practice good self-care.
The goal in any job interview is to present the best version of yourself. This means getting enough sleep, being hydrated, and doing some physical activity the day before. This will help you to feel calmer, portray confidence, and manage any additional stress brought on by the interview.
Tips: Try some calming exercises prior to your interview. To relax your body and ease tension, try breathing slowly, counting to 15 for each inhale and exhale. To get yourself in a positive state of mind, watch cute kitten videos.
Yes, job interviews are daunting, but remember: You’ve been plucked from a large pool of applicants because of your experience and qualifications. In addition to showcasing your value to a prospective employee, job interviews also provide you an opportunity to assess the organization. If you have a hard time feeling comfortable or don't click with the interviewers, it may be a sign that it was not a good cultural match.
Remind yourself that this job is only one possible option. You will find an amazing new role that you’ll be great at. Keep these three strategies in mind to boost your confidence, you’ll be ready to ace your next interview!