Question: No matter how many interviews I sit in for, I can never fully overcome that feeling of anxiety. What can I do to handle my interviews better?
Job interviews can be daunting, especially for inexperienced job seekers, and the anxiety they induce can stem from various factors such as overthinking or inadequate preparation. The good news is that interview anxiety can be effectively managed with the right approach. Here are five actionable tips to help you conquer your interview anxiety and increase your chances of success.
Know the Role and Company
To prepare yourself for the interview, it's essential to conduct thorough research on both the role and the company prior to the meeting.
Diana Kumar, Recruitment Manager, from ManpowerGroup Middle East recommends tailoring your answers to match the job’s requirements helps “demonstrate how your skills and experiences specifically match the requirements of the role you're applying for, convincing interviewers of your suitability for the role”.
Familiarizing yourself with these aspects will not only enable you to tailor your responses to the specific job requirements but will also convey the impression that you are a well-informed and enthusiastic candidate, setting the stage for a positive impression.
Project Curiosity and Confidence
Approach each interview as a valuable learning experience. Adopt a humble and open learner's attitude. Yvonne Yap, Operations Director of Manpower Singapore suggests using your pre-interview research as guideposts to ask intelligent, pertinent questions. Demonstrating your curiosity can leave a lasting positive impression.“Interviewers often look for a combination of technical skills and soft skills. They want to see if you're a cultural fit and can communicate effectively”, Yvonne shares. Demonstrating personal chemistry, active engagement, asking questions, and maintaining a professional demeanor all play a crucial role in showcasing your enthusiasm and interest in the position.
Your non-verbal cues are as critical and revealing as verbal ones. Sitting upright, maintaining eye contact, and speaking without filler words will lend you an air of confidence. Remember not to fidget or slouch, as these could signal nervousness or insecurity.
Take the Lead
Taking the initiative to ask questions not only signals curiosity and diligence, but also puts you in the driver’s seat, which can help alleviate your anxiety. Dalvinder Kaur, Director of Corporate Affairs for ManpowerGroup Malaysia, recommends asking questions related to the “team’s composition and responsibilities, opportunities for personal growth, the company culture, and the expected career path [for the role]”, which will help “provide a comprehensive understanding of the role and its alignment with your personal aspirations”. Asking insightful questions will inform your decision-making process and help you decide if the job is the right fit for your career journey.
Envision your Success
“Always practice positive self-talk”, Dalvinder points out. Before stepping into the interview room, visualizing success will help boost your self-confidence by reinforcing a positive mindset. Employ relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, to help you manage anxiety effectively.
Thank the Interviewer
Your post-interview actions are your final opportunity to leave a memorable impression. Always send a succinct thank you note after the interview, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterating your interest in the role. Learn how to write the perfect thank you note.
Remember that interviews are a two-way street for both parties to learn about each other. Don't hesitate to put your best foot forward and show your potential employers why you're the right fit for the job.
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