I have been working with a number of clients recently who have been going through Interview Practice with me as they have started applying for jobs. One of the most common issues my clients talk to me about is ‘FEAR’. Whilst I have written lots of articles about ‘Fear of Change’ and ‘Fear of Failure’, I wanted to focus on Interview ‘Fear’ which is all about managing the stress and nerves associated with going to a job interview.
We have all experienced terrible interview nerves at one time or another. Whilst, we all need an element of stress to keep ourselves sharp and on our toes, if we get overloaded with stress and nerves, it can have quite horrendous results. We can end up rambling and waffling and completely going off on a tangent, we can end up feeling totally paralysed and unable to articulate what we want to say, we can completely forget everything we have learnt and practiced and can find the most logical and easiest of questions impossible to answer! This is because we go in to panic mode !
So how do we fix this and keep our Interview nerves under control so we can be our best selves at an interview?
Let’s consider the purpose of the interview. Is it to ‘grill you’, intimidate you or catch you out by asking really difficult questions? No! They want to get the absolute best out of you so they can find the best candidate and sell them the job. Therefore, it’s actually a level playing field; you have the skills and experience they want and they have the job you want; it should be ‘win/win’.
So, make sure you are really clear about what you have to offer them. Gather all your evidence and write down lots of examples of what you have done, how you have done it and what value you can bring, so you can tell them all about it confidently. Make lots of notes and practice talking through them naturally and regularly rather than robotically, word for word. Try doing this when you’re driving to work or perhaps when you’re in the shower. Just get used to talking aloud about all the great things you’ve done. The more you do this, the more natural and fluid it will become.
Preparation is key. Do your research, learn about who is interviewing you by checking them out online or on Linked In. Knowing who they are and what they look like will really help them to appear less scary than you imagined.
Research and print out information on the company and learn a few key facts so you feel more informed about their organisation and can show them how interested you are in working for them. Consider checking out the location, maybe go to see where they are and visit their offices or look at their location using Google’s Street View so it feels more familiar to you on the day of the interview.
Use visualisation techniques to imagine it all going really well. Picture yourself arriving early and feeling calm and relaxed and meeting them in Reception. Visualise what you are going to wear and how you are going to look and how confident you feel. Imagine everyone welcoming you and putting you at your ease and being pleased to meet you and making you feel comfortable. In your mind see and hear yourself talking through your examples in the same way you have been practicing them; articulating everything clearly with the interviewers smiling and acknowledging you and writing things down. Visualise a very enjoyable and successful interview where you are at your best.
Every time you feel your interview nerves rising; that knot in your stomach forming and the panic creeping in, just STOP and BREATHE!
Breathe through your nose and down in to your chest……. three deep breaths. Put your hand on your heart and feel the calmness seep in to your body and reassure yourself there is nothing to fear.
Get a good nights’ sleep and continue with some more slow and deep breathing exercises and use Lavender essential oils on your temples and on your pillow to promote a calm and restful sleep. Avoid caffeine and sugar and inflammatory foods and drinks on the day and keep hydrated with water. Eat wholesome foods to give you energy and reduce acid.
Finally, remember, to just be you as that’s exactly what the interviewers are looking for.