Prepare yourself mentally for stress and anxiety
Job interviews are anxiety-provoking and stressful, even for the most confident people. To add another layer of difficulty, finding a job in this new uncertain environment may be more difficult than it has been over the past twelve months. Until recently, the labor market and the economy seemed solid.
Slowly, then suddenly, we are being forced to deal with runaway inflation and other macro-geopolitical events that will have a deleterious impact on the labor market. Sectors such as technology are cutting their workforces, implementing hiring freezes and even resorting to cancellation offers. There have been around 17,000 job cuts in the tech space alone. It is likely that the layoffs will soon have an impact on other sectors.
The secret to overcoming interview nervousness
It’s not just you. Almost everyone gets nervous before interviews. The problem is when the nervousness becomes overwhelming. The following steps will help you gain confidence. By taking these steps, you will be prepared to overcome the anxiety associated with the hiring process.
The bottom line is that the more you know about the company and the interviewers, practice your elevator pitch, and match your skills to the job description, the calmer the nerves will settle. Instead of being worried, you will be imbued with optimism and you will feel powerful and in control of the movement. Rather than dreading the moment you walk into the room or dial into the video call, you’ll feel elated.
Interviewers and hiring managers will pick up on your positive frequency, respect your knowledge of the job, and be happy to see that you’re prepared, motivated, and enthusiastic.
What to expect in the interview process
It’s natural to be nervous during the hiring process. Nobody likes to be bombarded with questions by strangers and judged on everything you say. Interviewers notice your body language, facial expressions, and even what you’re wearing to the meeting. You are forced to endure a marathon of interviews, enduring up to ten interviews plus interviews over three to six months or more.
If the process isn’t nerve-wracking enough, too many companies fail to provide constructive feedback or criticism. There will be long periods of lack of communication from the company and its staff. You feel lost and abandoned.
How to Successfully Fight Nerves and Gain Confidence
There is a strong correlation between the time and effort expended in the pre-interview phase and positive results. One of the keys to success is to know everything about the company, its employees, its corporate mission and the products or services they offer.
Go to LinkedIn and find the people who will interview you. You can select a mode that they won’t know you are viewing their profiles. Check out their credentials, how long they’ve been with the company, where they’ve worked before, and where they attended college. Reconnaissance will provide you with much-needed fuel to find common ground and serve as an icebreaker.
Read the job description carefully. Make sure your resume meets the requirements. If you lack some ingredients, offer a pitch on how you can either learn the tasks or acquire skills that can be transferred.
Gather inside information. Find people in the company that you know. If you don’t have direct connections, tap into your network to find someone who can help you. Getting an insider’s perspective on the company and specific job openings is extremely helpful. If you use the services of a recruiter, ask them to share everything they know about the company, the interviewees, the hiring manager, and a sense of the company culture. Scour the internet to find out if there are any new developments, good or bad, in the business.
Prepare an elevator pitch. This is similar to a television advertisement. You want to be able to sell yourself in about a minute. The expression comes from the ability to attract attention and notice someone while riding the elevator up a few floors. The pitch should be concise and succinct and show that you have almost all the skills to succeed effectively in the role. Play elevator pitch with people. It might sound great in your head, but when you say it out loud for the first time, you’ll realize it needs some tweaking.
Solve all problems
If you are going to the interview in person, plan in advance where they are and how long it will take you to get there. Find out what is the appropriate attire to wear. Be sure to bring several copies of the resume, as other interviewers may be added at the last minute.
A savvy hack is to arrive early and walk around the area as it gets the blood flowing, releases some of the tension, and gives you a sense of the neighborhood that can serve as another conversation starter. Stop by a store or newsstand to buy mints and chat with the person. Talk to security guards and other staff when entering the building. This will help you relax before you start speaking in the interview.
Eat something and drink a glass of water before the meeting so you don’t feel lethargic or hungry. Before entering the meeting room, go to the restroom to make sure your hair is combed and your clothes look good. Pop the mint as you enter the interview room.
If your interview is online. Check internet connection, sound quality, lighting and background. Make sure you have the right platform to use and all passwords if needed. Get the email address and phone number of someone in charge of the interview process ahead of time in case there is a problem.
Carefully review your resume for accuracy and remove anything that is fake and might blow up later. Get rid of any part of your social media footprint that the company might worry about.
I will get this job
Before your in-person or video interview, take a deep breath. Inhale for a count of four, hold for a few beats, then release for a count of four. You’ll be surprised that it’s a great way to clear your mind and relax.
Engage in self-talk. Remind yourself why you deserve this job. Think about your reason. Remember and replay in your mind all the other times you succeeded. Tell yourself, “I’m the right person for this job, I deserve it, and I’m going to get there.” I will get this job!