So you’ve written a knockout resume and got an interview lined up. Excellent, you’re already one step closer to landing that job you’re after! Here are a few tips from my own experiences that can help you be a little more confident walking into your interview and stay confident during it.
We all know the thoughts that run through our heads can be very influencing to how we feel. It’s also important to be conscious of your body language during the hours leading up to the interview. Your body language affects your mental state and vica versa. See the TED Talks – Your body language shapes who you are video below for further insight into the science of this as well as actionable tips. Making the necessary adjustments can pay huge dividends when you walk into the interview. Even if practicing these techniques only makes you 5% more relaxed, it’s a good return for minimal effort.
Whilst it’s almost impossible to be completely perfect, you can greatly increase your appearance as being cool, calm and collected through simple practice and repetition. If you rehearse the delivery of your responses to common interview questions, you’ll be a little more confident with each repetition. For example, some interviews usually start with “Can you tell us a bit about yourself”? If talking about yourself is something you’re not comfortable with, I can almost guarantee you that having a simple and punchy response ready and practicing it 50 times will make you much more confident in your delivery. Record the audio of your first take, compare it to, say, the 50th take and observe the difference. It might be a little awkward at first, but be patient, trust in the process and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you later deliver that confident take and play it back. Check out this 10 minute TED Talk – How to speak so that people want to listen.
It’s usually better to have some stories on hand as a response rather than giving short one-sentence answers. Stories can be interesting and allow you to paint a clear picture for your interviewer. Think of when you run into people and you both start some small talk. Short vague responses can sometimes feel like the conversation has no substance. It’s a formality that you both secretly can’t wait to be over. Whereas when there are short punchy stories involved, the conversation get’s a little more interesting and you’re both feeling more present in the exchange.
We never know what kind of curve ball questions can get thrown our way during an interview. A useful preparation exercise that has helped me feel less anxious about this is to have at minimum three stories that demonstrate:
I found that these stories were able to address a lot of questions that interviewers would throw at all kinds of angles. Try to account for experiences within a workplace setting, however don’t be afraid to use an alternative story (uni, sporting, personal project etc) to highlight some key points about yourself.
There will be a point when your interviewer will ask you if you have any questions, and if they don’t, take the lead and introduce it into the conversation. Some to have on hand are:
It’s a comforting mentality to have that you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you. Of course, in your early career experiences, you’re most likely going to be excited for any opportunity that comes your way as it’s a stepping stone to bigger things later down the track. Still, it’s important to know that you’re also determining if you would be a good fit for each other. Think of yourself as being in some level of demand and not being on the clearance rack 🙂 This shift in mindset will filter your behaviours and responses, in turn communicating confidence in your self worth.
That’s it for now everyone. Get in touch on our Village facebook page if you would like read more about this or have suggestions for other topics.