4 ways to beat the pre-interview nerves

4 ways to beat the pre-interview nerves

Interview day…

You know the feeling! Your stomach feels like it’s on a roller-coaster, you notice you’re talking at 100mph and have become very thirsty for some reason!

How can anyone prove that they are the perfect person for the job under these conditions? Some people are gifted enough to triumph under the pressure, but really… is it a risk worth taking if you really want the job?

Here is some expert advice on beating the pre-interview nerves from some seasoned pros at RedWigWam:

Fail To Prepare. Prepare To Fail

1) Research the company

Start off by going onto their website and reading the ‘About us’ section. Take note of what exactly is the company does (don’t miss the obvious stuff), try to get a feel for what values the company believes in (their ethos). What point are they most trying to get across?

Let us demonstrate:

‘The way we work has changed. Mums are no longer expected to stay at home with the kids, and dads don’t want to be labelled the breadwinner. The student lifestyle is becoming increasingly more expensive and the retirement age is all but a number. Then there are those who just need a wage boost every now and again, and others who want to use their time to bridge the gap between jobs.’

By picking apart paragraphs, you can get a clear impression of company values. In this section all of the words in bold have connotations of ‘breaking the mould’ and being foreword thinking. This gives you the impression that this company considers their work to be innovative and disruptive. (We do! Just ask our trophy cabinet…!)

Create a list of the ‘values’ you find. This will give you an overall view of the companies ‘character’. It will also force you to read the text a few times, thus helping you to remember any key details! You can then name drop these values during the interview, giving the interviewer the impression you do genuinely understand the company ethos.

2) Re-access your initial application.

Clearly something has gone successfully, you’ve made it to the interview stage. So take this as an achievement! There will be plenty of candidates who were not as successful. Use this as a confidence booster, and add some swagger to your walk.

Take a look at the job description more specifically the key skills and job responsibilities. Learn them thoroughly, and try to match them against your past experiences and how you’ve implemented these skills in the past.

For example…

“You’ll be someone with great communication skills and works well in a team. We pride ourselves on our great customer service”

“During my time at {prior job/relevant experience}, I was responsible for dealing face to face with hundreds of customers on a daily basis, I did so with enthusiasm and understanding. Our company mirrored my own values in which we put people first {then list a particular example when you went out of your way to provide exceptional service}. I feel most comfortable when I’m interacting with others, I am a very social person and truly enjoy working with others that share my mind-set”

(Obviously, don’t memorise this so you sound like a robot, but get the points to the forefront of your mind so they roll off your tongue!)

*Bonus Points*

See what others have said about the company within the past year – look for any news stories or achievements. (Just to add a few more strings to your bow).

Learn your lines – and expect competency questions

After ensuring you are prepared for the company/role based questions, you need to be ready for the inevitable competency questions. This style of questioning is used for practically every interview on the planet! So it can’t hurt to have some default answers to rely on.

This is an employers way of using your past experiences to get a rough idea of how you will perform in the future. It also allows them to understand your problem solving abilities and character. There is a great list of examples here.

Interview them back! See how they like it…

It’s common practice for employers to ask if you have any questions for them and yes! You definitely should! Even if you’re just faking it, it shows you’re keen and attentive.

Start with any genuine questions you have about the role, then begin to ask questions to help you understand the working culture of the company. It will help to give you insight into what your future will hold if you get the role, and also limit any surprises. There’s a great list of questions here.

Learn. Grow. Develop

I know you’ve probably heard it a thousand times but every interview is a great learning experience.

Even if you’re not immensely keen on a role it’s still worth attending the interview just for the extra practice.

The interviewer may provide you with feedback if you are unsuccessful, but its also worthwhile critiquing your own performance. Think back, where did I stall? What wasn’t I prepared for? Learn from it and make your areas of weakness a strength. Eventually, by following these steps and weening out any of your flaws, you’ll  notice you are too well prepared and too well rounded to feel overly anxious, you’ll be punctuating every interview with a Mic Drop!

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