Let’s be honest – interviewing is stressful. No matter how many publications you read, you never fully feel like you’re ready. Preparing for the interview in itself is time-consuming and can be sometimes difficult. However, it is an essential component of advancing your career, so let’s talk about how you take control of the process and set yourself up for success.
1. Preparation is key
The biggest part about interview anxiety is not knowing what to expect in terms of interview format (what questions may be asked, what your interviewer is like and so forth…), how you can pitch yourself as the right candidate for the job. More so now, since interviews are going virtual. The most effective way to alleviate some of that anxiety is spend as much time preparing.
Research the company, industry and the people who will be interviewing you. Some of the aspects you will want to know are:
What’s being communicated through the company’s social media accounts – this will give you an idea of what’s really going on
An overview of the company in terms of the services they offer and try and see how your role fits into that
Your interviewer’s role at the company – no shame checking their Linked for some information (in private mode of course!)
See if you can find out some posts on Glassdoor to give you insights about what employees at the company (past and present) say about their experiences
A great resource for to get information from is the person (generally the recruiter) who reached out to you to set up the interview.
2. Have 4-5 examples
Instead of trying to anticipate every possible question you might be asked during the interview, think of a handful of professional scenarios that showcase your best qualities that can be used to answer various question. From those examples you can begin to see how you portray the skill requirements on the job description. For example, if the JD says must be a good communicator or can handle conflict – do your examples portray that information?
3. Ask questions
It is an unspoken rule that you should have a handful of questions to ask the interviewer. You can weave these into conversations as and when topics arise; your engagement signals to the interviewer that you have taken time to really think about the interview and the position you have applied for. You can always save a few for the end of the conversation. Some good examples include:
Technical questions that relate to the job (i.e. what systems they use)
What type of employees tend to be successful at the role
What does success look like in the first 30 days
What kind of career development and support the company offers. You can even be bold and ask the interviewers of their journeys
Questions related to the company culture
I talk to myself a lot! Especially when preparing for an event like a presentation or interview. I pace around the house and visualise the interview with all possible questions and recite my responses out loud until I’m satisfied with the response. I know it seems excessive but with anything in life, practise makes perfect.
If you’re not much of a talker, find someone who you trust to give you honest feedback on your performance. I would recommend choosing a few different people (if possible). It would also be good to elicit feedback from someone with experience in the industry.
5. Be personable
Qualifications are important in terms of landing an interview in the first place, your personality is what really seals the deal.
6. Relax and be yourself
This needs no explanation. You’ve got this.
I’d be interested to hear if you’ve used any of these techniques in your interviews and/or how you adopt them in the comment section below.