After job hunting or seeking a new position, landing an interview can bring a sense of anxiety, rather than relief.
“You have to answer questions and make a good impression while at the same time, trying to collect enough information to decide whether you want the job or not,” says Forbes. This can lead to a bad case of nerves before and during the interview process.
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Don’t let this anxiety bring you down! It’s possible to ace the interview by following these three steps.
Be the answer to their problem
When entering the interview process, you might feel like your interviewers are looking for reasons not to hire you. This thought will carry over into your energy during the process, and can make you come across as desperate. Not a good look. When the panic sets in, remember this quote from actress Natalie Dormer:
“You should always bear in mind when you’re walking into an audition room that the writer and the director, they have a problem. They have a problem that they need to be solved. They don’t know who’s going to play this role. You want to be the solution to this problem. That’s what you’re aiming for, that’s what they’re aiming for. Don’t walk into a room thinking that you’re going to hit a wall of negativity straight away. Everyone in the room wants you to be the answer.”
Now, you may not be an actor, but you’re definitely working hard to be the best candidate. Carrying yourself with confidence will land you the position. There are certain steps you need take that we’ll list below to ensure that you ARE the perfect fit, but the first step starts in your attitude.
Interviewers aren’t adversaries; they want you to be the perfect fit as badly as you want to be.
Do your homework
When prepping for an interview, you need to be prepared. While you shouldn’t rehearse to the point of being robotic, you should at least be familiar with common difficult interview questions. In particular, have a solid answer for “What is your biggest weakness?” You’ll want to be honest without being too revealing. Avoid answers like “I work too hard” or “I care too much;” you’ll come across as disingenuous.
Waltzing into an interview without knowing anything about the company is a recipe for disaster. At the very least, you should research the basic history of the company, and the requirements of the role you’re interviewing for.
Glassdoor covers the 7 keys topics to research before an interview, explaining that, “Company research is the best way to learn about what the company does and what they look for in a candidate. You’ll also be better prepared to answer questions and position yourself as the best candidate.”
A good way to show that you are actively engaged during the interview is by asking questions. “A big part of the success of active listening relies on your ability to relate to your conversation partner,” says Answer 1. “The easiest way to do this is to ask questions. Not only will you be able to clear up any uncertainty you might have, the person you are speaking to will appreciate your attentiveness and desire to understand the nuances of what they are saying.”
Make sure to do this when the bulk of the interview is over; interviewers will often ask if you have any questions when the interview is almost complete.
Don’t waste this opportunity. “Most employers agree that, ‘No, I have no questions,’ is the worst possible response,” says The Muse. Ask about company culture and see if the interviewer has any more questions for you.
Avoid asking about vacation policies, schedule flexibility, or questions about company competition, which makes you look flaky. Essentially, you should display commitment to the business and show an interest in the way the company is run, not just a paycheck.
It’s crucial to remain positive in the interview process. “If you stay positive, your interview demeanor will be more likeable and you’ll have a much better chance of landing that position you are seeking,” says DW Simpson, a notable recruiting firm.
One way to stay positive in an interview is to make sure you don’t bad mouth your old job. The Balance explains that criticizing old employers “can raise questions about your ability to work well with others or to accept accountability.”
Only bring up difficult past situations if you can turn them into a learning opportunity. Positive stories are valuable; trashing your old boss is not.
Another trait to avoid during interviews is arrogance. “Appearing arrogant or entitled is an instant disqualifier for 59 percent of hiring managers, according to Career Builder.” You want to make sure to highlight your strengths without appearing overconfident. Never lie on your resume, and don’t try to oversell yourself. You need to appear confident, not cocky.
Now, Go Ace that Interview!
Now that you know how to present yourself with confidence, go ace your interview. Researching company culture, common interview questions, and exactly what your hypothetical position will entail will make you a standout candidate.