You just got the call inviting you to interview for your dream job. You know you’re one of the top candidates and that your prospective employer likes what they’ve seen of your application. Now what? Before your hands start to get clammy, here are a few tips to help quell your anxiety on the big day.
1. Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about your prospective employer. Check out their website and search the news for recent mentions. Pay particular attention to their recent successes. Have they won any awards recently? Are they expanding into new markets? Protip: if your potential employer is in an industry affected by current events, prepare a question about that connection. “How is Company X responding to the recent changes in import tariff regulations?” Being knowledgeable and positive about the organization is a clear sign of your interest.
2. Stick with what works. A job interview is not the time to experiment with your personal style. Dress as if you’re making an important presentation or attending a key meeting. Clothes that make you feel strong and confident will help you project those qualities as part of your first impression. A brand-new outfit may not be the best choice; no one wants to spend an interview dealing with unfamiliar wardrobe issues. Protip: make sure the details are impeccable. Shoes, hair, belt, fingernails and jewelry should all be simple and spotless.
3. Don’t be scared of silence. It’s easy to talk too much when you’re nervous, and an interview is no exception. You can manage your anxiety by taking a breath before answering each question, and by stopping your answer after just a sentence or two. Not only does this technique help you stay emotionally grounded, it helps your interviewer stay focused on what you’re saying. Protip: using silent pauses during conversation conveys attention, thoughtfulness and respect.
Interviews are bound to be stressful, but they’re also a great chance to showcase your strengths. Use these tips to prepare wisely, and you’re sure to make the best possible impression.