The trick to not feeling nervous during an interview is to treat it like any normal conversation whilst still managing to incorporate the relevant points. It is all about keywords that potential employers will be keen to credit you with on their notepad. There is no doubt that many interviews are a points-scoring exercise because the employer has to compare you against someone else using one method or another. Think about what will score you a point each time you speak.
It is no surprise that we are listing first impressions so early on in this article. They are vital and always included in lists that say about all the things we should avoid doing at an interview. You do not, after all, want to create the wrong impression with only half a foot through the door.
This is a case of assessing the formality of the other staff working at a company. Believe it or not, you can be dressed too formally these days. Ties and even suits are a rarity for what was once considered a formal occasion. You are far more likely to endear yourself to the interviewer if you are dressed similarly to them. Although, a colour clash could be difficult to avoid. So, study the workers going into the building you intend to work in ahead of the interview to decide on the formality required. It could make all the difference to your success in getting the job.
It is not just about what you say in terms of content and tone but also the way that you carry your body. Slouching in a chair or shrugging shoulders are to be avoided. You want to look alert, attentive, and above all, interested. Also, you want to come over as a hard worker to reaffirm your CV’s credentials and back up what you have achieved in life so far. So, it is worth buying a book on body language so that you are prepared for the interviewer who has versed themselves in it beforehand.
Learn How to Talk About Yourself
Many salespeople will tell you that before they can sell a product to a customer they will first have to sell themselves. What they mean by this is that they are first demonstrating to their buyer that they are of good, likable, and capable character, in terms of the kind of person that the customer will be dealing with. It is a demonstration that they can get on with people and have the knowledge and experience necessary to sell the product they are about to pitch. It is no different in the interview situation. An employer will want to know that you are the right person to fit in with their business and get on with their current staff as much as being the model employee possessing the right skills.
The short of this is that if you do not know how to talk about yourself, you are going to find an interview very difficult. The tips then are to know everything that you have down inside out so that you are confident about recalling it. Do not be shy about promoting what you have achieved and linking it to how these achievements could help the company that you are looking to join.
Highlighting Relevant Skills
It is not just a case of listing, in conversation, the skills that you have which an employer is looking for but being able to demonstrate how, in the past, you have been able to use them to beneficial effect. For example, it is not just sufficient to say that you will be good at selling because of your communication skills, you need to be able to back that up with evidence of consistently meeting sales targets or having sold something equivalent of ice to the Eskimos.
At school, the two areas of study to focus most on are undoubtedly literacy and maths in equal measure. They help with any job. At college, unless you are going down the scientific route, the skills most likely to help you to succeed will include business skills (including marketing, computers, social media, and accountancy skills) and typing skills. The ability to type is essential to all jobs where a computer is involved. It means that you can input information quickly and accurately. Two-fingered typing is time-consuming and unproductive. It is worth putting the effort in to know your way around a keyboard without even looking at it. Slow typing is painful to watch in a customer services department, although granted their job is more one of pacification and empathy when dealing with potentially difficult customers already irritated by their faulty product.
Questions for the End
It seems only fitting to think about the end of an interview as much as the beginning. To do this, you need to have thought about some questions to ask at the end. It shows interest in the company that you wish to work for. It can be a question that incorporates something that you know about them while asking about something that you could not possibly know. If it is easily searchable online, then really you should not be asking it. This would be a demonstration that you had not done your research, or homework as it used to be called. So, think carefully about the questions that you ask. Have several in mind to allow for some of them being answered during the interview.
Very often an interviewer will have covered everything essential you need to know about a job by explaining it and then saying when a decision about the interview will be likely. It can be good, however, to think on your feet, even though you are sitting down because it is only an expression, and to mention something that was not elaborated on fully during the interview. This demonstrates that you were paying attention.
So, start as you mean to go on with a job interview by making the best possible start with your appearance, in every sense, and by having learned how to speak confidently about yourself. Be ready to highlight key skills with an example of you using them and benefitting another company or person that you worked for. If it is your first job, relate your skills and experience to college or home life. Any life skills are as relevant as academic ones. Finally, be ready with at least one well-thought-out question when asked. You do not want to end the interview with a period of silence.