5 Preparation Tips To Reduce Interview Anxiety
Guest submission: Eva Benoit, https://evabenoit.com/
So, you finally found the perfect job opportunity and you’ve landed an interview. This means the hiring manager already thinks you’re a good potential candidate for the open position. Now, you just have to prove it. Unfortunately, interviews are magnets for anxiety, making it difficult for the interviewee to think of answers to tricky questions or remember key information. Being well-prepared can help you relax, giving you the confidence you need to dazzle the hiring manager and ace your interview. Here are five tips to help you plan so you feel as ready as can be.
Prepare Your Paperwork
Don't show up to your interview empty-handed. Even if you already sent your resume to the manager, they may not have a copy on hand. Print out multiple copies in case you’ll be meeting with more than one person. It can also be a good idea to prepare a portfolio of work samples if it makes sense in your industry. You may also want to bring a few notes of talking points to help you remember things you want to bring up, like anecdotes that illustrate relevant skills. Finally, be ready with a list of references in case the interviewer asks for this. Organize this all into a neat folder so you’re not juggling a mess of papers during the interview.
Dress for the Job
As many as 65 percent of hiring managers say that a person’s clothing can help them decide between two similar job candidates. So, make sure you plan your outfit carefully. It's important to wear clothes that fit with the style of the company rather than trying to be too stylish or unique. You can get an idea of the workplace culture by looking at pictures on the company’s website. For more information, check out this interview outfit guide by WorkPac.
Conduct Yourself Properly
How you conduct yourself during the interview gives employers a taste of what it will be like to work with you and how you'll handle stress on the job. Start off the interview with a firm handshake and a smile. Maintain a confident but comfortable posture and remember to make eye contact. If you're feeling anxious, a few discrete deep breaths can help calm your nerves. Avoid caffeine before the interview because this can make you feel extra jittery. Since anxiety can keep us in our heads, try to shift your focus to the interviewer by asking how their day is going. Work to remain engaged throughout the interview. This will also show that you're a genuine person rather than a job-seeking robot reciting a script.
Be Ready for Any Question
Do your homework before the interview so you're prepared to answer and ask questions on relevant industry topics. You’ll want to research the products the company promotes, the role you’re applying for, the responsibilities involved, and the culture of the organization. You can find this information from the company’s website, social media accounts, and their blog. During your research, make a list of potential questions that you may be asked so you can prepare the perfect answers to them. This will help you avoid blanking when you’re under stress at the interview. Check out job sites like Zety.com for the best answers to some common job interview questions so you can stand out from other applicants. Remember, take the chance to ask your own questions as well. This shows that you’re truly interested in the company and you’ve put serious thought into your potential role in it.
Follow Up Afterwards
Forbes recommends following up with a thank you email immediately after the interview. This shows hiring managers that you’re enthusiastic about the job and that you appreciate the time they took to meet with you. Take the opportunity in this email to briefly reflect on the interview and express why you think you would be the perfect fit for the job.
In the unfortunate event that you never hear back from the hiring manager, don’t get discouraged. Everyone faces rejection in their job search. If you’re brave enough, you can even ask the manager for some constructive feedback on your interview so you can get an idea of why they chose someone else. Keep an open mind and be ready to accept answers that you may not like to hear. Then, make any relevant improvements so you can nail your next interview!