Sweaty palms, a dry throat and a pounding heart are just a few of the symptoms commonly experienced by interviewees. To make a good impression you need to come across as a calm and confident candidate, but how do you stop those pre-interview nerves from ruining your chances of getting the job you really want?
Read on for our top tips.
1) Create your own confidence
Feeling confident about an interview starts before you even leave home. To stop nerves from getting the better of you, take time out to read through your CV and application form, focusing on the positive factors that made you stand out as a strong candidate.
Once you’ve reminded yourself of your skills and abilities, think about how you can sell yourself. Recruiters need to know how your experience relates to the job you’re applying for, so be prepared to highlight what you’re best at.
Even if this is your first interview since graduation, you’ll have plenty of transferable skills. For example, a drama student would make an ideal candidate for delivering presentations or pitches.
2) Be prepared
As well as thinking about the most commonly asked questions you might face, why not get in touch with your university careers service and find out whether they offer mock interviews? If they don’t, ask a good friend or family member to put you through your paces.
On the night before your interview, make sure your outfit’s ready to wear, your shoes are polished and that you know where you’re going. Put any train tickets in a memorable place and pop a contact number in your phone in case you encounter any delays. Lastly, always take a fresh copy of your CV to refer to, as some of your interviewers’ questions will relate to it.
3) Know your new employer
Never turn up to an interview without researching your potential employer. A quick visit to their website should reveal plenty of useful information, including the company’s vision and ethos, employee biographies and any recent news. For a more informal look at your future employers, head to their Facebook page or Twitter feed.
Find out who will be interviewing you and take a look at their LinkedIn profile. You might find that you have something in common and this can make them seem less intimidating.
Informal visits are an excellent way of introducing yourself to potential colleagues. You’ll get the chance to ask informal questions about the job and a few insights into the application process. You’re also less likely to get lost on the day of the interview!
4) Rest and relax
Now that you’re properly prepared for your interview, it’s time for some rest and relaxation. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial when you need a clear head, and a great way to make that happen is to take some exercise before you sleep. Exercise will also reduce stress levels and distract you from any last minute anxieties.
What you eat can also have an impact on your performance, so enjoy a hearty bowl of porridge or wholegrain cereal for breakfast and you’ll stay energised. A cup of coffee an hour before your interview can help you to feel more alert and focused, but stick to one cup if you want to avoid twitchiness!