Wednesday 22 May 2019

Confidence - The key to overcoming interview nerves and anxiety

Interviews can be stressful.  Many people get anxious at the thought of “selling” themselves in an interview.  Sometimes people are so desperate for a job that they’re so focused on the outcome of getting the job that they fail to take a step back and look at what they’re really good at, know what they want or how they can get it and this reflects in the interview, resulting in poor interview performance.

Some people look good on paper, with great experience and skills, but just don’t know how to articulate or present themselves in an interview, unclear of where they are going wrong.  And others have not had an interview in years and find the thought of an interview just plain daunting.

There are many reasons, but the reality is that we only feel anxious and nervous when we’re unprepared for the unknown – we’re afraid as we don’t have any control over a situation we’re about to enter.  Fear causes anxiety.  Fear of not being good enough, fear of not having enough experience, or not having the right experience.  Fear of saying the wrong thing.  

Many job seekers, despite having the right mix of skills and experience perform poorly in interviews due to being over-stressed, lacking in self-confidence, have a negative attitude  as they approach the interview process.  When you come from a fear-base mentality with limiting beliefs about yourself or your situation, it almost guarantees poor interview performance.

A new perspective
In order to overcome any interview nerves and anxiety, you will need to reframe both the interview process and your role in the interview process.    Accept that you can’t control the process.  You have no influence over who is interviewing you and that you have no idea or can do anything about other candidates that are also been interviewed for the role.  The real secret to overcoming interview nerves and anxiety is to shift your perspective to yourself.  Realise that the only thing you can control in the interview is you.  The only thing you have total control over is yourself and your attitude toward the process.

Think about it.  Yes, you want the job.  But really, the object of any interview is that you want to feel that you have presented yourself confidently to an organisation that you are interested in working for.  You want the interviewer to know exactly what value you bring to the table and whether there is a good fit from a cultural perspective.  You also want to feel that you were able to be your authentic self and that your attitude was a true reflection of the type of person you are. 

You want to leave an interview knowing whether there is a good match between what you want in your career and the role you’ve been interviewed for.   The trick is, really, to release the attachment to the outcome of getting the job and shift your perspective to understanding whether the role is right for you and if you want to explore it further. 

Know what you have to offer
We all have unique gifts, experience and skills to offer the work place.  When these are aligned to our goals and we can position them successfully in an interview, we position ourselves with confidence and, often, that makes the difference in taking us to the next level in our careers.  In the interview you need to know your value and be able to demonstrate it, as well as your potential.  

Once you are clear on your value proposition, answering questions like (even to yourself!) “why should we hire you?”, “what do you bring to an organisation?”, “why do you think you are the best person for the job?”, “what is your greatest strength?” or “what is your greatest asset?”  is going to be easy to respond to, because you’ve taken the time to understand your own value and what that means for an organisation.    The premise is that the more value you see in yourself, the more others will too.

Coming from a solid foundation of feeling confident in yourself first, allows you to prepare for an interview from a place of strength and automatically reduces interview nerves and anxiety.

  The interview process and what to expect
  How to overcome interview nerves and anxiety
  How to determine your unique value proposition
  Types of interview questions and how to answer them
  How to deal with difficult and sensitive interview questions
  How to negotiate the best salary package in an interview

Or contact us for one-on-one interview coaching to fine tune your interview skills.