It’s a New Year, your resume has made it past screening, and you’ve landed a chance to prove to a potential employer that you undoubtedly have what it takes. Congratulations! But you can already feel the butterflies welling up in your stomach. Interview nerves are on their way. Staying calm and focused in an interview is critical to making an excellent first impression and landing a job.
It may seem impossible; however, if you follow these five tips, you will be well on your way to presenting the best version of yourself:
- Prepare! Nothing is more stressful than being blindsided by an unanticipated question. Depending on your field, your interviewer may be deliberately trying to surprise you. But that shouldn’t stop you from planning. Just a little research on the internet can help you anticipate the types of questions you might be asked. Also, be sure to prepare a few questions of your own.
- Be yourself. If you are interviewing for your dream job, you may be tempted to do anything to get it, including presenting an alter-ego of whom you think will impress the interviewer. Don’t do this! Most likely, you will fail midway and be forced to drop the act. Even if you do manage to pull it off, do you want to be pretending to be someone else from now on? It’s always better to just be yourself.
- Pay attention. Often, success in an interview comes from responding precisely and clearly to questions. Nerves can prevent you from listening carefully to what your interviewer is saying. Focus with careful attention.
- Slow down your speech. Many people tend to babble when nervous. This can be a problem during the interview. Your nervous speech can be difficult to understand and as a result may demonstrate a lack of confidence. Being aware of fast speaking is the first step in correcting the problem. If you notice yourself speaking fast, slow down!
- Hand Gestures. Studies have shown that people react positively to hand gestures, especially open palms. These give the sense that you are free, honest, and have nothing to hide. Try to incorporate open hand gestures into your communication. It is essential to practice these before the interview. Fumbling through hand gestures will not make a good impression.
Workforce Solutions provides job search seminars that you can benefit from as well. The next time you have an interview looming, take a deep breath, remember these tips, and move forward with confidence. You’ve got this!
Tiffany Armington is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston-Galveston region. Tiffany brings her studies in special education and 12 years’ experience in marketing, sales, and training to the team. Her chief cornerstone is customer service that is centered and focused on removing all barriers to full time employment. She truly enjoys assisting job seekers with career readiness courses that will ultimately lead them to the perfect career opportunity. She is very passionate about building up and encouraging others to reach the possibilities in their lives.