The average person will work about twelve different jobs throughout their lifetime– that’s a lot of interviews! No matter how many times you’ve been through the grind, you’re bound to get nervous, especially if you’re interviewing for a job you really care about. After all, your career is probably one of the most important aspects of your life; it determines how you spend your days and the impact you’re able to make while doing so. Here are a few key tips for the next time you’re up for a new position!
In a Manner of Speaking
Try to speak as calmly and smoothly as possible. If you’re someone who tends to get tripped up when speaking in higher-pressure situations, consider reciting a few tongue twisters or other vocal warm ups beforehand. Think of it like stretching your muscles before a run. Along the same train of thought, try to avoid “fillers” as much as you can. This means words such as “um,” “uh,” “like,” “you know,” etc. Awkward as it may feel to pause while you collect your thoughts, that second or two of silence shows much more composure and less floundering than an “ummm” would. A brief pause indicates that you’re taking the time to think before you speak or offer your next answer, and that’s a good thing!
Keep in Mind
When interviewers present you with the dreaded “tell me about yourself,” you’ll want to go beyond the information stated on your resume. Of course, this is much easier said than done. How much and exactly what you share is up to you, but remember that employers want to hear about actions you’ve taken, not just qualities you claim to possess. Come prepared with three to five short stories showcasing things like your past successes, times you’ve encountered an obstacle and persevered, or relevant skills and experiences. Make sure to format these succinctly and in an interesting manner. Storytelling is harder than it sounds, but it allows the information to stick in the interviewer’s mind. When they think back to your interview, they’ll remember the story you told about leading a difficult project, not the number of times you won Employee of the Month two positions ago.
Interviews are as much about how well you know the company as how well you know yourself! Show your interest and investment in the position by asking well-thought-out questions when the time comes. Use the opportunity to learn more about the place you could be working at and to get a feel for the environment. Make sure to tailor your questions slightly depending on who you’re speaking with as well. Many positions involve several rounds of interviews with different people, so you could be speaking with a general hiring manager one day and your potential boss the next. Asking about company climate might be better suited for an interview with a prospective team member, and inquiring about the specificities of a particular position may not be a question an HR representative is equipped to answer.
Try to Relax
We’re all at our best under an amount of pressure low enough to keep the messy nerves at bay but high enough for proper motivation. An interview is a great chance to work on your communication skills and really market yourself. After all, there’s no one you know better. Try to relax, take a deep breath, and trust in your preparation. We wish you the best of luck!
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