Job interviews. Even the term is intense. But really, why do we find them so so daunting?!
To start off, I thought I’d give an insight into a couple of my experiences, from each side of the table!
Take a second, and think back to the hardest interview you’ve ever had….
My first interview post-University was in….Japanese. Yes. Really. Now before you feel too sorry for me, I did study Japanese at Uni and so it wasn’t a total blindsider. However! Throw my nerves into the mix and you can get a pretty good idea of the metaphorical bloodbath that lay before me.
And the other side of the coin? An example that stands out in my mind is someone who had well and truly shown nerves the exit. This guy decided to let me know ‘he’d been on the lash the night before and had a dreadful hangover’. Now, I’m all for being honest! But there are limits. That was a no from me.
So what are my tips for you?
As someone who interviews people, first and very important thing – we’re not there to trip you up. If someone is? You don’t want to work for them anyway.
Now I can tell you from the above little incident that this isn’t always possible. But trust me, the more interviews you have, the less the nerves will rear their ugly head. Nerves aren’t always a bad thing either. Nerves transferred into adrenaline = dynamite. To stop them getting the better of you, just remember two things. You’re there because you think you can offer them something not everyone else can. They’ve set time aside to see you because they too think that might be the case. Show them that it IS the case. If you don’t get it? It wasn’t meant to be. Move forwards.
Take a breath.
Questions coming thick and fast? It’s an interview, not a race. You can pause for thought just like you would in any other conversation. By taking a moment to gather your thoughts you’ll give a more concise and clearly processed answer, which is exactly what the interviewer wants to hear.
Don’t make the day any more stressful for yourself.
This is a big one. There are so many things you can do yourself to make the morning a nicer and calmer one. The usual train you’d get? Get the one before. Worst case scenario you’re early and can grab some fresh air and a coffee. Best case scenario, the inevitable train delays won’t have you in a fluster before you’ve even got there.
Also, do plenty of prep beforehand. You’ll never kick yourself after the interview for knowing too much.
Say yes to that glass of water.
Interviews by nature involve a lot of talking. Don’t let your mouth, and subsequently your flow, dry out.
Learn from every failure.
Interviews can be soul destroying if you let them. You probably won’t get every single job you ever go for, but believe me – you’ll learn from every turndown. If you keep getting told you need a little more experience? Go and get some. You may well feel like telling people ‘where they can stick their job’. But part ways well, you never know when your paths may cross again. When you’re happy in your new role a few months down the the line and everything has worked out for the best you’ll be able to see why that role wasn’t meant for you with no regrets.
Keep at it.
It’s a cliche but it’s a must when job hunting. It’s not fun and it can seem to be the tunnel where the light never gets any nearer. But believe in yourself and your ability. No company is big enough to tell you that you can’t do it. And if they do? Prove them wrong and do it even better.