Do you get nervous at interviews? You are not alone. Most people do. However, some people don’t.

Those that don’t probably have a personality that thrives in pressurized and social situations. However, they also have a different attitude toward interviews than those that get nervous. Here are some tips that help you manage your fears:

 

1)   You have nothing to lose – literally. Before you go into the interview you do not have the job. The interview gives you a chance to get the job, but if you don’t get it you have not lost the job. You are no worse off than before the interview and you are better off in the fact that you have learned from the experience.

2)   An interview is a social interaction. Answer the questions but remember that you are interacting with another human being. In normal conversation we ask questions too, so make sure you keep things conversational by asking the interviewer about their experiences at the company etc.

3)   If you are unsure of the location of the interview, give yourself plenty of time in case you get lost or delayed. You might even want to do a dry run of the journey the day before to make sure you know the way.

4)   Be prepared. Make copies of your resume and other materials you bring with you to the interview.

5)   Research the job and the company beforehand. But remember the interviewer will not expect you to be encyclopedic about the company – bring notes with you if you want to consult them during the interview.

6)   Remember that you can only do your best, you cannot control all the elements that will go into the decision making process. If you don’t get the job, you didn’t “fail”. There is a huge luck element that you have no control over. Consider this real life example – Years ago a friend of my father interviewed for a CFO position at a company. He was under-qualified for the position and was a little surprised that he got the interview. It transpired that the CEO of the company shared an interest with him. The shared interest was enough to convince the CEO to give him a chance at the job. Presumably the CEO interviewed more qualified candidates, but it was my father’s friend that lucked into the job through this happy coincidence. Incidentally, putting your interests on your resume can be helpful because people are looking for personal connections with the candidates they select.

7)   Practice can help, find a friend or family member that is willing to role-play interviewing with you. Ask them to pose difficult questions so that you get used to thinking on your feet and answering the unexpected.

8)   Remember that the interviewer is hoping that you will be the right person for the job – they don’t want to interview hundreds of people and the sooner they find a suitable candidate the better.

9)   Find ways to “break the ice” when you arrive at the interview. Talk to the receptionist, he or she can often put in a good word for you after you leave.

10)  Don’t be afraid to tell the interviewer that you are a little nervous. Do so with humor and with a smile. It will make you seem more human to them and will help you relax just by getting it out there in the open.

 

Do you have any interview tips to pass on?