It’s natural to feel nervous about a job interview, particularly if you think the stakes are high because it’s that once-in-a-lifetime, perfect role at just the right company. Before you get too overwhelmed or melt into a puddle of anxiety, take a breath and read a few tips we’ve compiled to help you through.
Anticipate Questions and Prepare
Research the company and role beforehand and anticipate questions that may be asked so you can prepare and practice your answers. Talk to friends who have interviewed for similar roles, draw on mentors’ experiences, or simply hit up Google to get started.
Visualise a time you felt empowered and in control before you walk into the room and you’re likely to replicate the same feeling in that moment. Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on body language and the power pose went viral for a reason. Your confidence is likely to be projected in your interview and give you a clearer head.
It’s common knowledge that body language and nonverbal communication can speak louder than words.
- Aim to:
- Maintain a high level of eye contact
- Use small cues, such as nodding, to show you’re listening and understand
- Show energy and enthusiasm without jumping all over the place – an attentive, positive facial expression and subtly leaning towards your interview could help
- Try not to fidget but small hand gestures can reinforce your comments
In verbal communication, vary your tone and try not to interrupt the interviewer, no matter how keen you are to answer them or think finishing their sentence will demonstrate understanding.
If you’re nervous you may breathe more shallowly or even hold your breath, which will only serve to perpetuate or heighten your anxiety. Try to take deep, even breaths, which will help you feel calmer, more stable, and in control. Don’t be afraid to take a breath before responding to questions to gather your thoughts.
Structure your Answers
It seems obvious, but make sure you answer the question your interviewer is asking, not what you would like them to have asked. Be clear, concise, honest, and use positive language – try not to lose your important points in nervous waffle.