Do you get nervous before a job interview? If so, you’re not alone. From cold, clammy hands to that churning stomach, everyone experiences some level of anxiety when walking into an interview. However, there is a way to reduce the amount of tension you feel and perform better in the process. It all revolves around how you approach the interview.
When you’re interviewing with a potential employer, it can often feel like an interrogation. Instead, look at it as a conversation. The situation is two-sided. Just as the company is looking for the right person to hire, you’re looking for an opportunity that meets your own needs, from career goals to finances.
Being more aware of this can help to cut down on the nervousness. Rather than focusing on how much is at stake, look at it as a way for both parties to get the information they need to make a decision moving forward. To do that, keep the following in mind.
There’s no such thing as the perfect answer.
Even if you researched, practiced, and performed mock interviews, you won’t ever provide a perfect answer because one doesn’t exist. What’s more is that if you prepare too much, you can come off as inauthentic and canned. While you want to think about what to say and how to answer common questions, don’t focus on perfection. Focus on an answer that is perfectly you so that you can have a fruitful and productive conversation.
If you don’t know something, it’s ok to say that.
In our society, there’s a perception that people should have all the answers, all the time. Sometimes, though, a simple “I don’t know. I’ll have to look into that.” is far more powerful. This ensures you’re not providing information that’s inaccurate. It also impresses upon the hiring manager that you’re smart enough to admit when you don’t know something.
Be curious and ask lots of questions.
Remember, this is your opportunity to find out whether an employer is a good fit. So dig deep and ask questions about the culture, the leadership style, what it’s really like to work there, and what the hiring manager does and doesn’t like about being employed by the company. By asking good questions, you’ll show you’re engaged and genuinely interested in the job.
Job interviews are conversations, not interrogations. Your goal with each one should be to explore fit and not necessarily to persuade the hiring manager to hire you. Plus, if you present yourself in a dishonest way, it can come back to bite you if you’re hired. Instead, focus on fit – both ways – and you’ll avoid overthinking.
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