Regardless of how much time and work you've devoted to preparing for an interview, the pre-interview anxiety and fidgets can happen to the most qualified and prepared of candidates. Here are a few simple tips that you can build into your routine to help set yourself up for a successful interview.
Prepare your interview attire the night before
It is important to make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of company and position you are applying for. Despite the time of your interview leave yourself plenty of time to ensure your clothes, hair, makeup all look acceptable and sharp. Prepare your clothes in advance of the interview to reduce the pressure and number of decisions you must make on the morning of your interview.
Be on time
Whether you are driving yourself or taking public transport to your interview it is essential to give yourself plenty of time. Leave early enough so that you have additional time to get to the interview, in case the venue is hard to find, or traffic is worse than you anticipate. Do a road test during the same time of day if you’re unfamiliar with the area and make sure to input the directions into your Car Sat Nav or write down the directions in your phone’s map so they’re ready to go when you need them.
It is beneficial to get to your interview 15-20 minutes early as this will give you a chance to get settled, meditate, review your notes or even just listen to music.
Although practicing your answers and your interview skills can be beneficial before an interview to reduce stress, try minimizing rehearsing responses the morning of your interview as it can make your conversation seem scripted and not authentic. You want to know your stuff, but remember your interview is a conversation.
At some point, most interviewers ask candidates if they have questions about the position. This is not a throwaway question; they really are keen to know your answer as interviews are a two-way street. Avoid being the candidate that stares blankly, trying to think of a question. Instead, having questions prepared prior to an interview highlights your knowledge of the company and the job you’re seeking.
The best way to remember your questions is to write them down, for example on an index card, a post-it or in a notebook.
Make a good first impression
Throughout your interview, be polite and friendly to everyone you meet as if they’re the hiring manager. Simple examples include; smiling and introducing yourself to people you meet, be friendly and appreciate the conversation, show of your intelligence and be respectful. Simple examples of politeness include saying goodbye to the receptionist that you spoke to coming in. Every chance you have to be polite and friendly take it as this makes you instantly likeable.
Most people have no problem talking to strangers for professional reasons. However, if you are a quiet, shy person you can still make a good first impression by simply being yourself. Making direct eye contact, smiling and a firm handshake when you meet people during an interview will go a long way.
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