This is a guest post by Ngwu Chinedu Joseph, who was one of the EMB STARS blogger and guest post giveaway contest. He enjoys sharing his experience and findings with those he come into contact with. This is quite evident as he explores the topic of how you can overcome stress in a job interview. Take it away Ngwu…
The word stress seems to have different meanings in different contexts. It can be said to be a pressure or worry caused by the problems in somebody’s life, it can also be used to lay emphasis on a special importance given to something, and it also appears to be an illness caused by difficult physical condition.
There are more explanations on the term stress which I will not discuss in this post. However, using a job interview as a case study, stress simply means nervousness.
You have just arrived at the interview room facing your interviewer who isn’t wearing the kind of warm smile that you would have liked; the chair you are sitting on suddenly becomes so hard, you begin to tremble and stammer while replying to questions, your face and palms starts sweating profusely, your mouth and throat becomes dry, and then your hands and legs jitters as if you see a ghost.
No doubt, all these are signs of Interview Stress.
Getting nervous during a job interview is common among many job hunters, despite the number of times one has faced an interview exercise. A Job interview isn’t a mere child’s play, it is actually very tough. The level of anxiety it instills on an individual could go a long way in reducing the chances of success of such a person during a job interview.
However, one can still proffer a solution to this particular problem. In order to overcome interview stress and emerge successful in a job interview, you need to take control of your level of anxiety by getting anxious and calming your nerves before entering the interview room, and then face your interviewer with much authority and confidence.
I will suggest you think of the whole exercise as a normal discussion about a particular job position, this will surely make you feel relaxed and comfortable.
There are some effective techniques that you can apply to overcome stress during your job interview.
How to Overcome Interview Stress in a Job Interview
- Adequate Research of Your Prospective Company
Most job seekers tend to neglect this particular factor. Researching a company before the interview date is a task that must be accomplished by every job seeker. Having enough knowledge about the job, the company and the industry is a sure tip for reducing stress, as you will be able to give relevant answers to questions concerning the company, based on the research you did. When you have done your research properly, you tend to face your interviewer with much confidence knowing that you are highly informed with what they are looking for.
- Get Rid of Negative Thoughts
As an interviewee, you are supposed to enter the interview room with the correct mindset, keeping aside negative thoughts; most especially, the thought of failure. Most times, the devil strives to weigh you down by instilling in your heart; negative questions and statements which will end at raising your level of anxiety and nervousness. Such questions and statements include:
”What if I don’t emerge successful in this interview? I will forever, remain a job seeker who can’t pay bills”
”This is a very reputable company, I don’t think I have the qualifications to work here”
”These interviewers are said to be experts, they may ask me some difficult set of questions which I have no knowledge about, and then make a fool out of me”
”Oh! I think I just gave a wrong answer here, I do not think I stand a chance of getting a letter of appointment”
”My fellow interviewees seem more qualified than I am – I will never get a job here”
Have you ever experienced such? Did you think of ways to overcome such thoughts? Indeed these thoughts can actually be countered. Whenever you find yourself making such statements and asking similar questions in your mind, counter those thoughts with these ones listed below:
- Believe that a common interview doesn’t determine your employment status in the future. Surely, there will be more chances of getting a good job in the future.
- A job interview is just like an assessment, or maybe I should say ‘a test’. Getting one answer wrong doesn’t disqualify a candidate. If you are able to answer correctly, nine questions out of ten, then you sure stand a chance of getting hired.
- You are special being, learn to believe that. Never see yourself as being inferior. You have to believe in your capabilities. So whenever you get the thought of being inferior, remember this fact and be convinced that you have all it takes to get that job.
- Once you have properly researched the company and yourself as well, there is never a question that will be so difficult to the extent of making you seem foolish. Know yourself, know the company, know the industry, know the position you are applying for, and you will be just fine.
- Practice Your Interview Skills before the Interview Date
Practice makes perfect they say, and this is also true when it comes to job interviews. You can ask someone; either a close friend or a mentor to act as your interviewer, and then you try as much as possible to perfect the answers to the questions being thrown to you.
On the day of the interview, after you must have arrived early to the interview venue, visualize yourself going through an interview exercise with much confidence and less doubt and anxiety. This will help keep you relaxed and calm during the interview process.
- Be Punctual
This is one effective strategy to keep your mind and body relaxed. Make sure you plan your schedule properly and take care of any issue that may prevent you from getting to the interview venue on time. I will advise you arrive at the venue 15-30 minutes before the time.
Entering the interview venue in a rush will definitely make you feel so nervous; this can jeopardize your chances of emerging successful in the interview.
- Make a Complete List of all You Need to do for the Day
Before the interview date, organize all you need to do on the day of the interview, and all you will need for the interview. For instance, know the documents you will be going with, such as CV, cover letters, references, etc. Also decide what cloths to put on.
I will advise you visit your interview venue before the date of the interview. This on the interview date will prevent any form of delay that may arise as a result of you, not really knowing the address of the venue, or the direction to the place of interview.
- Expect and Welcome Interview Stress
Getting nervous during an interview is something common. You should always expect to feel nervous and welcome it as well. Most times, this feeling keeps you alert ready for any question. Being so relaxed and over-confident can at times make you seem less interested in the interview.
- Imagine the Interviewer(s) to be in your Shoes
No doubt, your interviewers were once interviewees; they went through series of interviewers before getting to their current position. They also understand that job interviews are very tough and stressful and as such; they will try not to make you feel uneasy.
Keep this at the back of your mind, it will help cheer you up and increase your level of confidence.
- Assume Your Interviewer is More Stressed than you are
Can this really be possible? Can an interview be more stressed than an interviewee? Yes! This is very possible, especially when the interviewer is a new Human Relations Officer who hasn’t been interviewing candidates. In situations like this, you can easily control your stress level knowing that both you and your interviewer are on the same plane, hence, the whole exercise becomes interactive and enjoyable.
- Wear a Warm Smile
A warm and polite smile will keep you happy all through the interview period. I am not suggesting you laugh always even when nothing seems to be amusing you. I read about a job seeker who went for an interview in a funny attire. Immediately he stepped into the interview room, his interviewers couldn’t help laughing at his attire. Not knowing the cause of their laughter he immediately joined them; laughing louder than every other person present in the room. What do you think would become of this applicant who just made a fool of himself? I wouldn’t love to discuss that.
Always wear a warm smile, appear cheerful, do not look sober or frown your face like one who is attending the funeral of a loved one.
- See Yourself as a Success
Never imagine yourself as a failure, think success. Before entering the interview room, visualize yourself already working in your prospective company. This will brighten you up and help get rid of anxiety and nervousness
Have you ever experienced interview stress? How does it feel like? What measures did you take to overcome it? What do you think about the tips mentioned above?
Let’s have the rest of the conversation via the comment section.
photos credit: Shutterstock.com and Freedigitalphotos.net
ABOUT NGWU CHINEDU JOSEPH