Job interviews are tough. Interviewers ask tough questions, sometimes about things we’d rather not talk about (past failures, for instance), and your professional life is on the line. Job searching is stressful, and the interview takes that stress and turns it up to 11.
Stress is natural and can be good. It’s a physiological response that allows us to survive: it’s a powerful motivator and increases physiological responses, which sharpen focus and improve physical responses. However, it’s not meant to be sustained for long periods of time, which where we get into trouble.
So since you’re already stressed, piling more stress on top that already existing tension can really take its toll. Here are a few tips to help you minimise the stress you feel when interviewing.
If you can, predict the questions. Some will be standard (-ish), and others will be specific to your field. You can also practice. Do mock interviews with family and friends. Employment services (like WIL, for example) have experienced interviewers who help job searchers get ready for the interview process. Employment Ontario services are free, so take advantage.
You should also research the company. That way you can direct your responses to them specifically. You can help them achieve this corporate goal, and you can help them meet that challenge in the marketplace. You can also prepare questions of your own, because you’re likely to be asked if you have any.
Plan your clothes ahead of time.
This way you don’t have to rush around trying to find your favourite tie or spend time when you might not have it ironing the skirt you planned to wear. Planning ahead also helps you decide how formal you need to be. You likely don’t need to wear a business suit if you’re interviewing to be a groundskeeper at a golf club; planning ahead takes a little stress out of the day.
The day before, look over your resume, any notes you may have taken, and the list of things you need: copy of the resume, clothes, polished shoes, portfolio, etc.
Do something to relax.
Run, take a bath, take some breaths, meditate, do some yoga, work a heavy bag, pet your dog, whatever. Anything that will release dopamine and improve your mood. Physical activity has the added benefit of using some of that extra adrenaline that you might not need for this situation.
If you can. Don’t stay out late the night before. It might be hard to sleep, but even being in and doing something relaxing the day before will help you the next day.
That way you have time to orient yourself and settle in. Rushing into an interview makes it several times worse; you feel frazzled and unprepared. Give yourself plenty of time to get there.
Interviews are hard and stressful, but with some preparation and some practice, you can make it through. These tips can help; we’d be happy to help you with any other aspect of your job search. Just call or email us.