This post may contain an affiliate link. We are letting you know because we value your trust
Got an upcoming interview standing between you and your dream job?
Let’s face it: answering interview questions from –sometimes mean looking – interviewers can be nerve cracking. Your heart pounds so hard that you get this sneaky feeling that your interviewers can hear the beat.
You try so hard to put up a confident look, but then your palm and face get sweaty, betraying your confident look.
It gets harder when you have something at stake – it’s your dream job for crying out loud!
But I have got good news: you can scale any job interview confidently.
Firstly, the basics: job interview preparation.
Preparing for an Interview
As with everything else in life, winning is in the preparation.
Go over your CV/Resume before leaving home: Your resume is what interfaces you and the interviewer(s). Most of the questions they will ask you will come from there, so it pays to read it over and again.
Find out all you can about the company: The purpose of an interview isn’t just to determine if a candidate is qualified for a job. Most importantly, interviews are conducted to determine if a candidate’s philosophy aligns with that of the company. So it pays to study the company real good beforehand.
Wear an antiperspirant: Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Naturally, we tend to sweat profusely when tensed up. And because armpit sweat soils our outfit embarrassingly, it makes sense to checkmate it, else it would ruin your look and send your confidence level plummeting.
Dress smart: This is probably one of the job interview tips you have heard time and again. Remember, you have only got a chance to make a first impression – so shine.
That taken care off, let’s get down to the business of the day – maintaining confidence in the course of an interview.
Have an answer for common interview questions: Bet you have been asked this time and again: “Why should we employ you?”. There is a good chance you have at a time cracked up when that particular question was thrown at you. Don’t let it happen again – prepare an answer down, not only for that question but for other ones like it.
Arrive at the interview way ahead of time: You sure need something to get yourself into the right frame of mind before taking on an interview. Being negligent with time will rob you of this opportunity. As a rule, aim to arrive at the interview venue at least 1 hour ahead of time.
Staying Calm and Confident During an Interview
Maintaining a calm disposition is one of the job interview skills every job hunter must possess. Luckily, they ain’t no rocket science, neither do you have to Albert Einstein’s intellectual ability to master them – they are darn simple.
#1. Frame your Mind Rightly
More often than not, many, a job seeker, are dreaded by the thought of losing out on a job after an interview. In fact, it isn’t really the interview that makes job seekers fidgety, but the fear of not getting the job, eventually.
Admittedly, such kind of fear is natural and normal. When it becomes abnormal is if you let it get a hold of you. Overcome this fear by believing that even if you don’t get hired after the interview, it isn’t the end of the world for you. There are still more offers on the way.
By doing so, you’re already halfway acing the interview.
#2. Breathe baby, breathe!
Though simple, but powerful. Taking deep breaths before and during the interview affords you the chance to expel your fear and anxiety. Shallow breath won’t cut it – deep breathing will.
Even better, count along as you breathe. Doing this further relaxes your mind, letting you think clearly and lucidly as questions are thrown to you.
#3. Converse. Don’t just answer questions
You sure do want to leave an unforgettable memory on your interviewers. If for one thing, you will be the first person that will pop into their mind when it is time to make a decision.
So, instead of just throwing off bland answers or working your arse off to impress them, engage them in a conversation. Share personal stories, tell them of your not-too-pleasant experiences, ask them questions, throw in gags, but don’t overdo it.
It’s that simple.
#4. Fake it if possible
Ever heard the popular maxim: “fake it to make it” – it works. Trust me. There are times when the interviewer is only interested in how confident you are answering a question, and not the answer itself. As such, you just have to figure out how to pull off a confidence skit, if possible.
If nothing else works, fake it!
#5. Give room for mishaps
No matter how hard you prepare for an interview, there is a good chance you will flop. Even the most confident candidate stutter at times, so don’t expect yourself to be perfect.
#6. Give honest answers
If you have less than 1-year experience, tell the interviewers. If you have been away from work for long due to unemployment, constructively tell them. No white lies, no cover-ups, no trying to work so hard to prove you are the best candidate. Be sincere.
#7. Embrace your fears. Don’t fight it
Your fears are normal. They prove you are human, so don’t struggle to keep them at arm’s length. They will with time subside as they interview proceeds.
What to Avoid
Certain acts when done intentionally or otherwise can severely erode your confidence without you even knowing. They include:
Saying “I think” or “um”: You would be shooting yourself in the leg by saying these words, or similar ones, during an interview. Why? It clearly shows you aren’t sure of what you are talking about, and no interviewer likes a candidate that lacks confidence.
Using curse words: This a no-brainer.
Staring disrespectfully: Maintaining eye contact is indicative of a confident person. But staring without a break shows you are a disrespectful person, so avoid it.
Turning your back at the panel as you close the door: This is probably the commonest interview tip. Face them as you close the door, and not the other way round.
Forgetting to thank the panel/interviewer: Don’t get it twisted – your interview ends the moment you leave the room and not when you answer the last question. Be wise.