Last week College Works Painting wrote an article regarding stress during interviews. CWP talked about the best ways to prepare for your interview beforehand to help ward-off stress the day of the interview. Today’s post is a follow up and provides tips to remain calm during the interview process.
Because you have spent the past week, or couple days at least, preparing for your interview you have no reason to be stressed. Rightttt…. if only it was that easy. A wave of nerves is still going to hit you as you walk into the interview, embrace it. A little bit of anxiety will keep you on your toes and keep your answers sharp.
“Going for an interview is a bit like going on a blind date. You prepare as much as you can – both mind and body – but you still don’t really know what to expect.”
During the interview
No. 1: Arrive early- Getting to your interview with plenty of time to spare not only shows the interviewer that you are a punctual and serious person, but it also allows time for you to de-stress and run through the possible interview scenarios in your head one last time.
As soon as I schedule my interview I always use my iPhone map to get the suggested route and estimated time it will take to get to the interview location. The day of my interview I always allow myself twice the amount of time my phone says it will take for me to get there. This allows for plenty of time incase I run into an accident or some other unforeseen problem.
The entire car ride I run through interview scenarios and practice answering questions out loud. This allows me time to relax and flip through a magazine once I get to the office.
“Research has shown that anything you study right before an exam is more likely to hurt than help your performance. Why? Because the last-studied information is still floating around in your short term memory and actually interferes with recall of information that you studied days, weeks or even months before.”- This same principle applies to interview questions.
No. 2: Release anxious energy- Anxiety has a way of leaking out even when you think that you have it well-hidden. If you find yourself fidgeting, try doing something to release anxious energy that no one will notice, such as wiggling your toes.
I have a list of bad habits that I know I do when I get nervous– bounce my foot, play with my hands, etc. Because I have spent the time making myself aware of these habits I no longer do them when I get nervous at interviews. My favorite trick when I feel like I need to move is press my toes into the sole of my shoe one toe at a time. It keeps my body from freezing up or moving too much without the interviewer ever noticing.
No. 3: Make it a “conversation” rather than and a “question and answer” – Imagine you are having coffee with an old friend instead of being interviewed. Instead of worrying about how you answer each interview question, focus on the conversation you are having, you will forget about your stress. Take everything slowly. No one expects you to answer the question immediately. It’s a three step process….
1) PAUSE. 2) COLLECT THOUGHTS. 3) ANSWER.
If you are struggling with a question ask the interviewer to repeat the question. They are going to view you in a better light if you take time to answer than if you ramble on and don’t answer the question they asked clearly.
Regardless of how the interview went, congratulate yourself. You came out alive and the more times you interview the better you will be at it.
It’s a win-win situation.
College Works Painting
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