(TBT POST): This post was originally published on April 18th, 2016
My hands shook with excitement as I hung up the phone and did a full on happy dance on the middle of the crowded street. I GOT THE INTERVIEW! I could barely get the text out to my boyfriend, I was shaking so much with excitement… and then the nerves settled in.
What would I wear? How should I do my hair and make-up? What if they think I am not experienced enough? What if I do that awkward nervous laugh thing that I do?
No matter many how many times I go through the interview process, it is still nerve racking. Walking into a new place with new people and asking to be judged – fun…not.
So how can we give ourselves the upper hand?
1. Do your homework.
Research the company AND your interviewer as much as possible before hand. When setting up the interview, make sure to get the name (or names) of the people who you’ll be interviewing with. Then use your Internet stalking – Er I mean sleuthing…- skills to get to know them. Getting to know your interviewer as a person can make them seem less intimidating. This practice can also help you with talking points during the interview (but no need to bring up your sleuthing skills and how great their Grandma’s 90th birthday looked on Facebook ? ). Having a good grasp on the company and their mission is also important for answering interview questions like “Why do you want to work here” or “why should we hire you”.
2. Choose your look 24 hours in advance.
Check the weather report and think about how you will wear your hair. Pick your outfit out and try it on in a brightly lit room to make sure nothing is see through. If you typically twirl your hair when it’s down, wear it up to limit distractions. If you bought a pair of earrings, make sure to wear them beforehand to make sure they aren’t tickling your neck or distracting you. The key here is to plan every detail of your appearance out (and do a test run) to make sure you are as comfortable and confident as possible.
3. Get your work out in the morning of the interview.
Working out some of the adrenaline and endorphins will help you be more grounded during the interview. When your body can release the excess energy, your mind will relax and stay clear too.
4. Think about your wants, needs and values.
Remember, interviewing is a two-way street, so this is just as much your chance to figure out if the company is a good fit for you. Sometimes we know a lot of hype about a company, and assume it will be our dream job, that we forget to interview them during the interview too. Make sure you have thoughtful questions prepared to ask your interviewer, and you keep an eye out for how the employees seem while walking around the office. Too often, people get so focused on leaving a good impression on the interviewer, then accept the job, and end up miserable because they didn’t take the time to interview the company.
5. Stay off your phone and think happy thoughts.
Try to stay off your phone for an hour before the interview, the last thing you need is to get a text or see something that will irk you or get in your head. Once you step into the company’s office doors, you will absolutely want to stay off your phone (it looks bad), and use that time to breathe deeply and give yourself a mental pep talk. Don’t worry about reviewing your answers or talking points, just focus on what an awesome catch you are! Your enthusiasm will be contagious!
How do you overcome interview jitters?