Most of us have been there: sitting in hot seat as the interviewer bombards you with questions which have no safe answer. The HR manager stares at you as you pause for a long while, trying to find that perfect piece to his puzzle-like question.
But as the clock ticks, the pressure of figuring out the ‘perfect answer’ adds on. Your speech becomes shaky; mouth is stuttering; and sweat’s all around the face.
Your nerves seemed to get the best of you, and you choked. You never got the chance to tell your idea in your preferred way.
Why do job candidates choke?
According to many scientific studies, the brain treats risky situations, such as job interviews or auditioning for a talent show, as threatening situations.
Instead of helping you be calm and composed, the body becomes rattled by heart palpitations caused by the adrenaline rush released by the brain. This results to anxiety and causes overall panic in the sympathetic nervous system.
How important is to be tranquil in the job interviews?
The consolation is that there’s still a possibility of getting hired even if you botched a job interview. That chance, though, largely hinges on your qualifications, work experience (considering it is vast), and the HR manager’s willingness to give you a second chance.
You wish your interviewer read the article entitled “3 Reasons to Hire Nervous Job Candidates” by Recruiter.com before he gives you the final judgement.
But of course, nothing beats the principle ‘doing things right the first time.’
Had you not panicked, you should’ve registered better answers and better chances of landing the job contract.
So, here’s the real deal: how to stay calm and composed during a job interview? Below are proven plans of action paired with my personal insights.
Tip #1: Nothing beats preparation
Had you anticipated the questions that are likely to be asked, and the accompanying best answers for that, you think you’d still cringe? Maybe a little.
The answer is to holistically know about the entity, their products, what they do, and what they aspire to be. You can do this by checking their official website. This enables you to learn their mission, vision, road-map, and key corporate officials.
Take me for instance. Before I applied for a certain telecommunications company, I made sure I know what they cater to consumers – calls, texts, and mobile data plans. Call me a sucker for attention, but it sure made my interviewer impressed as I recite all their mobile plans.
Also, think of how your skill set and core values will be a good fit for the organization.
Recommended: How to Research Companies You Want to Work For
What are your odds of passing a college exam without studying? Very little to none right? The same goes for job interviews.
Tip #2: Get your game plan going
On the day of the interview, your eyes must only be on the prize – acing it. Therefore, distractions like printing resume copies, thinking of the best clothes to wear, or locating the interview place must already be taken care of at least a few days before.
Having to take care of these little, but pesky issues, on the interview day itself clusters our head, and that’s no good for someone who’s about to face a mental beating later on.
A no-brainer: getting a good night’s sleep.
Tip #3: Get a practice interview partner (a.k.a. simulation)
Memorizing answers to anticipated interview questions can backfire during the real interview. If you fail to outline key points and arguments in your head, then forgetting a major statement is more likely.
clichéd as it may sound, but practice makes perfect.
The more time you spend on rehearsing with an interview partner, the better interviewee you become. It’s because your partner can jot down notes about what he liked and hated about your answers, and the way you deliver them.
Tip #4: Bear in mind the human factor
I assume you already know that smiling immediately boost one’s mood, right?
But not necessarily your mood only. If you flash a beaming smile on the interviewer, it sends a strong message that you’re confident.
It will also help to picture the interview, not as it is, but as a conversation between new friends trying to get to know each other better. That way of thinking makes you more lively, excited, and expressive.
Shy away from the thinking that the interviewer is an evil person waiting for you to make a mistake. You can’t be at peace in answering if you think that way.
Tip #5: You’re bound to make mistakes, but that’s okay
There’s no perfect interview. Sometimes, even the seemingly best answers are negatively perceived by the interviewer because of varying perceptions. One way or the other, you’ll commit mistakes, conscious or not.
By convincing yourself that committing some mistakes is okay, you’re giving yourself more freedom and flexibility in answering, unlike rigid answers. It also takes off any unnecessary pressure on your mind.
What matters more is displaying grace under pressure, and the resolve to improve as the interview goes along.
Tip #6: Breathe
Like smiling, taking a full, deep breath works wonders for the mind and body too. It serves as a relaxing agent that enables us to think better and clearly.
Tip #7: Do not rush
You want to impress so much, that you jump at the question immediately after the interviewer asks it. Chances are you’re going to run out of ideas because you didn’t allot time to strategize your answer.
And when you run out of words, what happens next? You stutter and make use of word fillers (e.g., “um,” “ah,” “uh,” etc.).
Taking a little time to formulate your answer helps make your answers better and more convincing.
Tip #8: Your career doesn’t end with a single job rejection
It’s true that career competition is fierce like that of the jungle’s, but it’s also vast and has many unexplored areas.
If you fail this interview, will it be the end of the line for you? Will no other company accept you? That’s a staggering NO!
Reminding yourself that there’s still an ocean of opportunity out there no matter what happens will help calm yourself.
And if the interviewer fails to value your skill set or answers, I’m pretty sure there are other hirers out there who will.
To conclude, being at your best state, both mind and body, is crucial to nailing the job interview. Following the above mentioned tips bolsters one’s chance of getting hired by beating the nerves.
William Bourn is one of the pillars of crazyessay.com alongside his college peers. He functions as both writer and social media ambassador for their business. He occasionally makes podcasts for students and newbie bloggers to better their writing. William continuously practices corporate social responsibility by donating to various foundations.