For most people, interviews are quite a stressful experience, especially if the interview is going to decide some kind of future for us, like a job interview. This is simply because we are under pressure to present ourselves in the best possible light and in a limited time frame, while someone else (usually a complete stranger) is going to judge us by our answers.
The worst part about pre-interview jitters is that practicing in front of the mirror, wearing the most professional outfit, and faking a confident smile won’t make us feel any more confident. Simply put, there are no assurances that we will get the job, and that worm burrows itself in our thoughts, further exacerbating our worries.
However, there are a few tricks to reframe your nerves so you can ace any interview–check them out below!
Learn How To Feel Powerful
I don’t know how it happened, but at some point, feeling powerful somehow became a bad thing. Somewhere along the way, we established a connection between power and bad results, and in the process started believing that exerting power can be harmful in the interview setting.
This is the furthest thing from the truth! There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling powerful and exerting the confidence that comes with it. As a matter of fact, this power will help your interviewers identify you as somebody of competence and authority. Nonverbal communication is very important and learning how to radiate power and stability will help you ace any interview. How can you achieve this power?
There are a few studies that support the thesis that feelings of power can be learned. According to one, you would need to sit down and write about a time when you were in charge and held power over people. This can be any situation ranging from a school project to an event in your previous workplace.
Another study postulates that striking the power pose can help you tap into feelings of being powerful, and thus change your body’s chemistry. Adopting this pose for a few minutes will affect your psychophysiology by increasing the testosterone levels in your blood, making you actually feel in charge.
Learn and Showcase Technical Skills
Technical skills were never more important than they are today. Every institution, whether a standard business organization or a nonprofit, relies on the tools of the digital age. Taking control of your web presence won’t only showcase who you are and what value you bring to an employer, but also can be a great way to advance your own technical skills. At some point during the interview process, the question “Do you know anything else that can help our organization?” will come up. This is your opportunity to shine and demonstrate that you have knowledge outside of your domain, especially ‘technical’ skills that you acquired on your own.
You can start by building your own website. It might seem overwhelming and too complicated at first, especially if you don’t have the right technical knowledge, but nowadays, websites can be built, published, and maintained very easily with free tools. Pick one of your passions and make a blogging hobby out of it. For instance, if you like to cook, you can learn how to start a food blog. In the process of creating your website, you will learn about SEO, HTML optimization, content, visitor engagement methods, and other useful technical knowledge that can help you shine when asked in an interview. Blogging will also allow you to practice your writing skills and will help you demonstrate commitment and passion.
Build Your Own Interview Toolkit
When it comes to acing any interview, your confidence is key, and usually depends on your level of comfort in a traditionally uncomfortable situation (not only introverts suffer from this!). While your knowledge, experience, and expertise can help you reach high levels of confidence, there is something else that you can prepare: your own interview toolkit!
An interview toolkit is essentially a group of items that help make you feel comfortable and prepared, transforming that pre-interview anxiety into excitement and creativity. For example, my personal interview toolkit consists of:
- A notepad
- My lucky pen
- Favorite chocolate bar
- A hard copy of the latest version of my resume
- Job requirements
- A bottle of water
If there is something that makes you feel relaxed and provides you any kind of reassurance, feel free to add it and build your own interview toolkit.
Leverage Your Interviewer’s Expectations
Psychology is one of the younger sciences, but the insights that have come out of this field are definitely worth utilizing. For instance, did you know that an interviewer wants to hear specific things based on their age?
That’s exactly what John B. Molidor, Ph.D. and Barbara Parus write about in their book “Crazy Good Interviewing”. According to the results of their studies, every interviewer wants to hear different things from job candidates. While the interviewers between the ages of 20 and 30 prefer candidates who bring visual samples of their work and who can demonstrate their ability to multitask, the interviewers between the ages of 30 and 50 value candidates who are creative and who know that a good work-life balance is very important.
This particular trick might seem like bending the rules and falsely manufacturing the interview, but it’s only one example; read the book and decide which tactics would work best for you!
Wear the Right Colors
While dressing well is critical in order to leave a good impression, the colors of what you wear might be just as important as the outfit you are wearing. A CareerBuilder Study from a few years ago looked at the worst and best colors to pick for an interview.
23% of employers in this study recommended that candidates wear blue colors, while 15% prefer to see candidates wearing a classic black outfit. There was one color which emerged as the most unprofessional – orange. So be careful when you match the colors of your interview outfit.
These are five tricks that can help you ace any interview. At the end of the day, projecting confidence and ease is what will win the interviewer over, so try your best to focus on the present during the interview, instead of only worrying about the consequences. If you make a mistake during the interview, be sure to apologize and to say what you intended to in the first place. And finally, don’t forget to breathe!
Guest Post written by Ines Pljakic – Inbound Marketing Specialist at FirstSiteGuide