There is no doubt that interviews can be stressful encounters and while some relish the opportunity, others really do not. If you can perform well at interview and convince your interviewer you are the person they need to hire, you will succeed in landing a new job. Here are some pointers in how you can get ready and ease the interview pressure:
Prepare for the Method
Different types of job interview demand different types of behaviour – and you will need to be ready for the specific format you will face. A behavioural interview may be best spent focussing on past experiences while a more traditional interview format will require you to consider your fit for the role – research into the company and the sort of candidate they are looking for will be invaluable. How do you find out what to expect? If the information is not offered, ask whoever has invited you for interview; if you happen to know anyone else who has recently been interviewed for the same company, they will be able to tell you whether to expect a more difficult stress interview.
Prepare for the Medium
Gone are the days of interviews over lunch or dinner and in many cases, even meeting your interviewer in person. The behavioural expectations of a Skype interview are different to those of a face-to-face meeting and a phone interview. If Skype is involved, have a technology trial run to make sure it all works, check you have a plain white or uncluttered background and make sure you’ll be somewhere quiet and uninterrupted. And dress as if you were interviewing in person (at least from the waist up). You can research phone interview etiquette – or seek professional interview coaching to practice for any of these formats.
Prepare Your Answers
No one knows the questions they will be asked in an interview. But you can glean a good idea through researching the company and gaining an understanding of what they’re looking for. Spend time marrying up your skills and achievements to their needs and you stand a much better chance than going in cold.
Allow yourself enough time before hand – try not to squeeze an interview into your lunch break. They are mentally demanding and if you want to give it your best shot, you need to be ready. Being completely focussed for the period before and during your interview will be draining – be wary of shooting straight back to work afterwards or thinking of the interview as a quick chat. And then there are the obvious elements: get enough sleep the night before, wear clothes you’re comfortable in and don’t need to keep adjusting, try to avoid spicy or strongly smelling foods – but make sure you eat to avoid the empty stomach noises.
While it will be just you in the interview, don’t forget to let anyone know who you may be calling on as a reference. To provide a strong, relevant reference, they need to be informed as to the role and company to whom you are applying.
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