Do you have a fear of interviews? You are not alone. They can be stressful, intimidating and nerve-wracking.
There are strategies for all types of interview. I will focus here on the importance of having the right mindset plus some effective strategies to help you nail that interview and show why you are the best candidate for the job.
The core belief has to be that if you have been invited to an interview you must have a good chance
Interview myth number one is that you won’t get the job because there are far more experienced candidates than you. I have heard this comment countless times from people who have then turned the situation round to achieve interview success. Invariably this is your perception rather than reality.
The core belief has to be that if you have been invited to an interview you must have a good chance.
Winning at interviews involves having a positive mindset. Although we all know situations where a candidate is already earmarked for the job, you must believe you have a fighting chance or at least create a positive impact for the future.
A recent client of mine makes a wonderful example of these two points: “My self-doubt took over and I was on course to planting the seed of doubt in the interviewers’ minds before they even had a chance to really get to know me.”
If you have self doubts and focus your thoughts on your lack of ability or experience, which could be perceived as more limited, it could become the focus of the interview.
I coached the client to prepare for a similar level interview some months later and worked on their mindset and approach, especially as they felt that there were candidates with more specific experience on the shortlist.
“This time I was prepared and proactive. I approached the interview confidently by focusing on the transferable skills, qualities and experience I did have and how my abilities, achievements and passion would make the difference in the role,” said my client.
- Passion, desire and a positive attitude can win the day against more experienced candidates.
- Plan and prepare. Research the organisation, job role and questions you wish to ask. Use positive mindset strategies for overcoming self doubt and nerves.
- Be punctual: you may only get one chance.
- Presentation and first impressions count. Smile, use a firm handshake, eye contact, and good posture, dress for success and display positive body language.
- Be enthusiastic, use tone of voice effectively and build rapport. Be yourself, sell yourself, and bring out your personality. Be polite and personable. Listen, check understanding and ask for clarification if necessary.
- Be professional and only volunteer positive information. Answer questions confidently, concisely and honestly.
- Never be critical of a previous employer.
- Give specific examples to show your competency and passion.
- Use third party endorsement. For example, “My boss says…”
- Ask relevant questions. Never discuss salary or benefits unless asked.
- Follow up with a short polite email confirming your interest.
- And practise!