In job interviews, most people rely on common interview questions. But, when it comes to the tough, unexpected questions they fall short. An interview can be a huge turning point in someone's life, so nerves and excessive preparation time are a natural consequence of the stress that comes along with the process. But, with a just a few simple interview preparation tips, it's quite easy to transform yourself from a nervous candidate into a confident and relaxed one.
1: Nerves Do Not Serve Us
Nervousness is one of the biggest enemies of successful interviewing. It makes us fidgety and slower at answering questions. We fumble our words, sentences and whatever we might be holding in our hands. It makes us look like a bad candidate. People that are perfectly fit for the job might experience mild nerves, but they're usually far more confident in themselves than someone that isn't.
You need to consciously recognise that nervousness does nothing helpful. It is strictly harmful, puts us into unhealthy thought patterns, stimulates a poor emotional state and translates into awkward body language. Your ultimate goal is to relax. You will get the job or you won't, life will go on either way. A deep breath or nod of recognition are the easiest ways to shake the nerves.
2: Focus on Your Strengths
When people focus on their weaknesses, they often damage their emotional well-being. Emotion translates into body language and thought patterns, so focusing on weakness is an excellent way to make yourself feel terrible. You have the choice to pay attention to our strengths instead, so you should take the opportunity. The surest way to undo the poor state-of-mind that's caused by focusing on weakness is to remember that there are approximately zero perfect people in the world. The most successful people on Earth have weaknesses. It's natural.
Try instead to think of things you're great at. If you aren't sure of your strengths, try to remember moments you are proud of or things you did well. These should be easy to find, but in the event they're not, try doing something that you can be proud of as soon as possible. It will likely change your attitude, and you can start to build your momentum. You're always better off proud of yourself in an interview than worried about your weaknesses.
3: Research Questions Casually
Some people learn every interview question and answer they can find off by heart and still fail the interview horribly. The reason that questions and answers don't get the job is that the questions are not nearly as important as the connection developed between the interviewer and the prospective employee. It's still important to read around for tips on common questions, but they aren't anywhere near as important as having a comfortable, spontaneous conversation with the interviewer.
Instead of staying up all night reading interview questions, clear your plate of chores and hire a home cleaning service like Handy, and look at them casually to get a feel of what to expect. It's far better to be confident, proud and well-rested than to know a bunch of answers to questions that might not even be asked. Reading questions casually will cement into your mind the idea that robotic answers to questions aren't what's important. What truly matters is that you can look your interviewer in the eye, answer their questions honestly and put your best foot forward. Trying to game the system will only make you worse off in the long run.
4: A Knowing Smile and a Well-Thought-Out Answer
The ideal body language for an interview is a calm, composed smile and a relaxed body. If the position requires higher energy, you'll need to be more expressive and energetic. But, most employers are looking for a great worker that communicates well. A confident, knowing smile is welcoming and leaves a great impression. A confident smile usually pulls the rest of the body in with it, so it's easier to control the rest of your body language from that point.
When the interviewer asks a simple question, answer it quickly, calmly and accurately. When they ask a more difficult question, it's okay to take your time before you give your answer. Trick questions may be asked, though, and there's no easy way through those unless you recognise it's a trick question. But, most interviewers don't use trick questions, so a positive and comfortable method of communication is the best option.
Following these four simple tips will produce excellent results in terms of how you feel, think and act when preparing and conducting your interview. While it's never a guarantee that you'll be accepted, you're always better off with a solid strategy.
Do you use any of these tips when preparing for a job interview? Let us know in the comments section below…