Job interviews are stressful. Your fate is in the hands of a person you have not met, judging you on answers you have not yet given, comparing you against competition you have not seen. Your job interview is like a blind date with an attractive, intelligent, funny model. You know they have the qualities you want, but you have to prove that you have the qualities they want.
Preparing for the Stress
USNews recently had an article in their health section on how to prepare for general stress in life, like test taking, first dates, etc. We’ll take their advice and show you how to use those tips for job interviews.
Practice is the best way to prepare for the stress of the job interview. The more you prepare, the less helpless you will feel. If you are a particularly stressful person, you should also try your best to hold mock interviews with a friend or family member. Getting used to the interview environment and how to come up with questions on the spot is the best way to be ready for what occurs in a real interview.
- Confront Your Demons
The article advises jotting down your worries on a piece of paper. We agree. However, you should build on that in two ways. First, jot down a few of the things you will do if you don’t get the job – like places you will apply, and the next steps in your job search process. That way you show your brain you have a plan, and you are not dependent on getting this job. Second, apply to one or two jobs the day before your interview. It doesn’t matter if you get them, what matters is you are teaching your brain that the interview is not your last hope.
- Free Up Your Brain
Learning mnemonics is a good way to remember your job interview answers, and you should also plan generic answers for questions you may not have prepared for. For example, plan an answer to any question about leadership if you are faced with a question you didn’t expect. Or prepare an answer to a question about communication for similar reasons. That way you have stock answers you can use if your planned answers don’t end up working.
- Think Win, Not Lose
Confidence is extremely important at the job interview. Even if you are not the most confident person, fake it. Pretend like you are. Make sure that you act like you are definitely the right person for the job. Job interviews are not a place for doubt, and even when you fake it, your confidence will shine through. The more doubt you give with your answers, the more doubt you will feel during the interview, leading to more stress.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Stay confident.
- Practice often.
- Plan responses.
- Write down your fears and solutions.