Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How to control interview nerves

Interview training MelbourneDo you feel that you get too nervous when you're going for a job interview? ...... Do you worry that your nerves and anxiety will be noticed by the interviewers - and that this may create doubts within them about your capability to perform the job?

You may think it sounds a little trite for me to say this - but it's OK to feel a little nervous about the prospect of being interviewed. The interview and the opportunity that it offers is important to you - and you want to do well. And being interviewed is not something that you probably do all that often ..... Therefore given these factors, it's only natural that you'll be feeling a little apprehensive about what you might face at the interview.

Most people get nervous with interviews

It's quite unreasonable to be expecting that you will be totally calm and free from any nerves when you learn the good news that you've won an interview. But the key is being able to control your anxiety so that it doesn't undermine your ability to present yourself in a clear and confident manner, nor inhibit your clarity of thought.

Take a slow, deep breath

Have a look at this short video clip, which offers several simple ideas that might help you to gain some control over your anxiety. Some of these interview tips relate to the importance of taking a deep breath ...... You would really be surprised at the number of times that I see people unknowingly hold their breath and "freeze" for at least a few seconds when they are surprised by a particular interview question.

And it's not as though certain professions are more characterised by this reaction - it's something that I've observed right across disciplines. I've been doing interview coaching for more than 20 years with all different types of people - including engineers, analysts, executives, lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers, sales people ....

How crazy is it to hold your breath when you're unsure? Wouldn't you say that if you're caught unawares by a situation and you're not sure what to do, then this is the time to ensure that the brain be supplied with some good quality oxygen to help you think more clearly? Boy, don't we just shoot ourselves in the foot sometimes? So monitor the quality of your breathing with "mindfulness" and this will help to relax and keep focused.


Confidence from feeling well prepared

For building your confidence, there is no substitute for feeling as though you are thoroughly prepared. This helps, as far as reasonably possible at least, to reduce the uncertainty of what you might encounter at the interview. 

It's reassuring to know that you've researched the company, you're familiar with the scope of the job, you know how you're getting to the interview and plan to arrive early, you've thought about the types of questions that could possibly be asked of you and you have your evidence portfolio. The only other thing that you might consider is an interview rehearsal ....

If you happen to be looking for some professional help in practicing and rehearsing for your next job interview, and you are located in or around Melbourne, Australia -  then consider giving me a call (phone 03 9725 3777) or send me an email to enquire about whether some one-one interview coaching may be the right solution for you ...... For more details, see interview training 

Face your fear

One final tip that might help you manage interview anxiety .... See if you can flush out  what may be actually triggering any excessive nerves. Whether it is a fear of failure, or a fear of rejection, or maybe a fear that you'll never again have an opportunity like this one to get the perfect job, or perhaps simply a fear of saying something stupid ....... Behind the fear is very likely some completely irrational negative "self talk" that you can argue with and replace with a much more realistic and more self-affirming thought process. 

Learning to control some of the internal self-critical chatter that goes on in your mind is one of the keys to cultivating positive thinking and feeling confident during the interview. Refuse to allow any of the "inner demons of self-doubt" to infiltrate your thinking. Instead, affirm to yourself that you will be able to handle the experience and don't lose sight of your strengths, skills and achievements. After all, these are what earned you the interview.

About the author
Brian Carroll is the founder of a management training and leadership development company, Performance Development, based in Melbourne, Australia.  He is a qualified psychologist and highly experienced interview coach with a background in recruitment. His passion is assisting people to achieve their goals and fulfil their potential. He is very familiar with public sector selection processes and helps people prepare and rehearse for behavioural interviews.