There are many areas of an interview situation which can lead to candidate nervousness. Prominent amongst them is the knowledge that you are likely to be asked questions by the person (or group) conducting the interview.
These can be seen as a Paxmanesque interrogation where everything said is doubted and each view is challenged – but it shouldn’t be like that, and for your part doesn’t need to be. Four simple tips to help...
Avoid leaving questions that shouldn’t need to be asked
This means ensuring that your application form, or letter, plus any CV, is completed accurately and with all necessary information clearly provided. Even when you have achieved this, be aware that some interviewers still feel the need to check that what is written is correct. This usually reflects their nervousness, or lack of experience or skill in interview situations. Provide brief responses if asked; don’t add crossly: “As I said in my application if you’d bothered to read it...”
Treat a question as an opportunity to make a positive impression
Imagine, for a moment, you are sitting your driving test. Many people see it is a chance to fail, while others think it’s an opportunity to show that they can drive safely. It’s the same with interview questions. It’s easy to imagine the interviewer is doubting your skill, knowledge or experience, but you should see it instead as a chance, pleasantly and concisely, to show what you do know and can do.
Question any questions you are unsure of
Should a question appear unclear, a poor impression is made (even if it’s not really your fault) if you then answer what you think was asked, only to discover that the intention was completely different. Ask for clarification, but without using a form of words that suggests the person asking it has made an error.
Simply try: “To make sure I completely understand what you need to know...” then ask your question. This also makes you more part of a conversation, rather than an interrogation.
Have some questions to ask
Some people only ask about salary, holidays, benefits and the like – and this doesn’t make a great impression. In fact, the interviewer should cover this, so only ask these towards the end if they haven’t.
Instead, look for questions that show you have carried out some research about your potential employer and job. These should also be forward-looking, in terms of how your career might develop, training to be offered, as well as about the job itself.
Four simple ways to help you prepare for, and conduct yourself during, your interview. Not only does this help you make a fine impression, you may also help your (nervous) interviewer through the process – and get them on your side!