So you've passed the initial application stage and have secured an interview for a role you really want. Congratulations! But the hard part isn't over yet. You still need to ace the interview. And there's a lot to consider when it comes to job interviews, from wondering what questions will be asked to figuring out what to wear. Plus, it's as much about using it as an opportunity to find out if they're a good fit for you, as well as you being a good fit for them.
It's easy to feel nervous or overwhelmed, but an interview doesn't have to be a big, scary obstacle between you and your dream job. If you're prepared, motivated, and confident, you're already several steps closer to success. Here are some simple tips that will help alleviate your nerves, empower you as a professional, and make your interview a triumph.
- Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the company you'll be working for, what your role will entail, and who will be interviewing you. You'll feel much more confident after building a strong foundation of knowledge and won't be thrown off if you're questioned on your understanding of the company.
- Look back over your application. That's what helped secure you an interview after all. The interviewer might draw questions from or refer back to your application, so refresh your memory and identify ways you could elaborate on what you had initially submitted.
- Practice questions and answers. There are a range of ways you might do this: you might want to comb through common questions or you might prefer role-playing the interview process with a trusted friend or family member. Either way, anticipate what you might be asked and have strong answers prepared.
- Practice the route. It's not just important to plan what you're going to say at your interview, you need to know how you're going to get there! Whether you're driving, cycling, or traveling by public transport, going on a dummy run will help you plan the logistics of your journey and ensure you won't get lost. On the day itself, you can concentrate only on the task at hand and not worry about the route.
- Prepare your outfit. Yes, you want to wear something appropriate, but it's not just about what the clothes look like, it's how they make you feel. Choose an outfit that shows your personality in an appropriate way and makes you feel confident.
- Think positively. Practical preparations are important, but you also need to adopt a positive mindset. Meditation, positive playlists, and even visualization exercises can help you envision success. According to a study by The Journal of Consulting Psychology, visualization exercises make a big difference to a candidate's success, as 66 percent of the subjects who adopted these techniques were employed within two months. Choose a method that will aid your positive thinking and turn your hopes of success into a reality.
- Check your body language. From a smile to good posture, open body language communicates that you're approachable, confident, and capable of doing the job at hand. Make sure you practice techniques before your interview so that any positive habits you adopt feel natural in your body.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices. If you want to perform well at your interview, it's important that you take care of yourself. Eat healthy and nutritious foods and get some rest. That way, on the day of your interview, you'll feel fresh and energized instead of slow and sluggish.
- Warm up. On the day of the interview, make sure that you aren't going in cold. Stretch, go for a run, meditate — just channel your nerves physically. Even practice speaking aloud to warm up your voice so that when you greet the interviewer, you'll already sound calm and confident.