Beating Job Interview Nerves: Part Two
Now for the nerve-wracking part itself; the interview. You’ve done the preparation. You know what to say, and when and how to say it. You’re dressed to fit any occasion and all that remains is to hit that ball out of the park. It’s time to put all that preparation to good use. Here’s how:
Watch Your Body Language
Stand up straight and don’t fidget with your hands. Hold your hands at your back if you have to, but always try to remain as calm as possible. Remember that there is also an element of excitement. Nerves are not always a bad thing. Enjoy that excitement, and let your preparation take care of the nerves. When you sit down, don’t lean back in the chair or throw your feet on the desk. You want to look relaxed, but not completely uninterested.
Control Your Tone of Voice
When it comes to job interviews, some people choose to go with the “public speaking” tone of voice. The problem with this approach is that you are not speaking to the public. Chances are there won’t be more than two other people, so you want to keep a professional tone that doesn’t deviate from the way you would normally talk. Employers aren’t looking for robots. They are looking for a good balance between stability and intuition. Speak clearly, but don’t shout. In other words, leave the Tony Robbins and Dr. Phil impressions at home.
Pull out the Research
Before your potential employers start to ask questions, why don’t you break the ice? Use the research you’ve done on the company and ask a casual question: “You did a great job with the new product launch. Did it take long to get off the ground?” It doesn’t have to be anything heavy, just something to get the ball rolling and show your personable side. By asking the employer a question, the interview will feel more like a mutual conversation rather than a one-sided interrogation. Plus, your knowledge of the company will likely leave a positive impression. If the interviewer happens to ask you a question you can’t really answer, pull out that success story and slowly steer your response towards something you do know something about.
The Bottom Line
In the end, the best nerve buster is preparation. You can’t concentrate on your body language and responses if you are questioning yourself the whole time. Make the extra effort to act out the possible scenarios, so that when you finally do go to the interview, it will feel like something you’re already a pro at. Practice that balanced tone of voice and prepare answers for every probable question you can think of. Anticipate your potential employer’s every move. That is how you conquer those nerves.
In case you missed it, check out the first half of this post “beating-job-interview-nerves-part-one” here