Here are some tips to help you:
- Do your research – prepare in advance by reading the Position Description carefully. Make sure to underline keywords or skills they require. Research the company, individuals working there and the company values – use the company website and LinkedIn.
- Prepare for common interview questions – write some answers and practice saying them out loud, record yourself, video yourself and make notes on what you think works and what you need to improve. Then, think about each of your previous roles and the behaviours/values you’ve demonstrated – create a list of specific examples when you’ve used your communication skills, worked well independently and in a team, used your organisational or time management skills, used your problem solving skills etc. If there are any questions you find difficult, always work through them before your interview with a friend , family member or professional as this will help you feel more comfortable in your interview.
- Prepare questions to ask – ask questions that will help you get to know what you really want to know e.g. If I were offered this role, can you tell me what success looks like in 3 months time? or What do you enjoy most about working for X Company?
- Reduce stressors – make sure to wear clothes that make you feel good, know how to get to the interview location or organise your online setup and do a quick practice with a friend beforehand to check your tech/sound/lighting/background all work well. Make sure there’s nothing causing you extra stress on your interview day.
- Manage nervous energy – if you know that you fidget or talk too much/too little when under pressure then make sure to have a strategy to manage this. Perhaps you need to put your hands in your lap to help you avoid playing with your pen or, you may need to practice how to answer a specific question without losing focus or talking too much. If you’re doing your interview at home, try to avoid a swinging chair!
- Visualize success – imagine yourself in your happy place to avoid getting too nervous. Ground your feet firmly on the floor and pretend they’re in the sand. Sit up straight, open your chest and breathe. Try to think about what you will be able to do once you get this job e.g. work as an engineer or teacher. Then, during your interview, try to imagine doing what you love.
- Be kind to yourself – get enough sleep before the interview and do some exercise beforehand. Even a short 10-min walk can make a difference! Otherwise, organise to speak to a friend or family member before your interview so that you can feel positive and strong from the start. Imagine the worst thing that could happen – you get nervous and can’t speak or, you can’t understand a question or, you just don’t get the job. Remember, each interview you attend is getting you a step closer to your new job. If you get feedback on your performance, you can learn from each experience and improve!
- Don’t let the pressure get to you – if you feel the interviewer is distracted or being tough on you, try not to take it personally. It could be other things they have on their mind, or they could be working from home in a challenging environment.
- Take your time – if you slow your speaking pace down, it will give you a few more seconds to think while you are speaking. This can help increase the quality of your response and make it easier for the interviewer to understand you. Take time to breathe, think clearly and speak at a natural pace. If you speak too fast, your pronunciation may not be as clear.
- Review yourself – after your interview take time to review your performance. What went well? How did you feel? What questions did you find challenging? How can you prepare better next time?
- Reward yourself – after your interview is over, take time to reward yourself for doing your best.