Top Tips for remaining calm in an Interview
I think as a final summary to my job and interviews posts, I have listed below key points that help me remain calm in an interview setting. I’ve had a lot of experience of interviews both as an interviewer and interviewee, so hopefully I can impart a few words of wisdom on the subject:
1. Prepare before hand – read up a bit about the organisation and the role. Have questions outlined to ask them on a piece of paper. Try to relax the night before and get a decent nights sleep, I find that if you just block the interview from your mind and think about other things it will help you the night before. Remember you got called in for the interview as they liked what they saw on paper, so that is an advantage for you.
2. Why are interviews conducted – it is a face to meeting between a potential employer and employee. It isn’t a test or session to make you feel uncomfortable or belittle you. You will have to put you best foot forward, to impress them, but you also have to like what you see too. If the interviewer/s talk down to you or make you feel silly….then is that really the place for you!
3. Dress to impress – Obviously wear professional and suitable clothing for the industry, but wear clothes you feel comfortable in. If you feel uncomfortable or are wearing a dress when you usually wear trousers, then that feeling of being uncomfortable, will stop your from being relax and focused only on the interview – because at the back of your mind you will be thinking do I look okay or I hate these heels etc.
4. Be yourself- that is who the interviewer wants to see, that is why they called you in. Talk naturally, give eye contact, be proud that you are there.
5. Talk clearly – talk normally and try not to mumble or speak too fast. Nerves have a way of making you talk quickly or not clearly. And don’t be afraid to stop in the middle of a sentence if you think you are rambling and state that you are very nervous and can you answer that again.
6. Give clear concise answers – I am definitely a person who gives short answers, I can’t waffle, so I don’t. I just answer the question as best I can and when I think I’ve given my answer I stop. If they seem like they want more I will ask sometimes if there is anything further they want to know.
7. Ask questions – and not just at the end, throughout. This is a meeting, so treat it as such. If you didn’t understand what they asked you, then ask them to repeat it or ask for further clarification. When you are answering try to gauge their reactions, if you think they do not seem happy with your response, then ask them if you have answered the question appropriately or if they wanted more in answer to the question.
8. Don’t worry – if interviewers ask you more intense questions. This is usually because they want to get more out of you…they are pushing you to see how much you do know. This is usually when the interview starts getting more intense and for me my nerves might start taking over.
9. Smile and relax – I promise you in my interviews I get all the usual nervous signs, wanting to go toilet how many times before hand, sweating (mainly underarms..not pretty, but I’m human after all) especially as the the questions get harder, but I try to keep a calm exterior…I don’t know exactly how I do it, but I think I just blank my mind and just focus only on answering the questions they ask me…I remain as focused as possible. And I always smile!
I hope these tips help you with future interviews…Good luck!
Vanessa – Working mum life xxx