A lot of people dread interviews. Perhaps it’s due to the thought of just how important and impactful those 30 minutes or so could be. Or maybe it’s because you’re meeting with people who have the power to shape your career/life. For others, it’s the fear of failure that keeps them on the edge. Overall, it’s simply just the case of the unknown and the butterflies that come with that. In this article, find some helpful tips on how to keep it together and survive your interview.
Arrive much earlier than scheduled
Try as much as you can to arrive at the interview location much earlier than scheduled. If you can, get there about 30 minutes early. This is not about being punctual. Punctuality means being there 5-10 minutes ahead. This is about buying time. Getting there half an hour early does two things for you. One, it allows you to calm down and get your thoughts together; something that you can’t do if you arrive and head straight into the interview room. Two, time allows you to soak in the environment you’re in. Remember, you want to work in that place. By spending some time there, you get to observe and see how the staff there behave and do things. You can then use that to blend in and make yourself a worthy suitor when you meet the interviewers.
Learn everything you can about the organization
Research the organization you’re applying to. Learn what they do, how many branches they have and where, who the senior management staff are, what the working hours are, etc. This is important because the interviewing panel will want to know how well you understand their entity and just might ask you about it. That aside, it’s also important because, by learning about the organization, you will start to feel more at ease being there and when being interviewed. You will feel more ‘at home’ and that will help you perform better.
Stay composed no matter what
No matter how well prepared you are in regards to what you’ll be asked in the interview room, what you cannot prepare for is the tension and anxiety that develops in there. To this end, train yourself to stay composed no matter what. Even the best candidates sometimes flop simply because their composure slipped off and they did something they couldn’t take back. The first two points of this post will help you stay composed. In addition to those, take a moment before responding to questions, don’t get dragged into arguments, and don’t get infuriated even if they dig into you.
Watch your body language
Last but not least – watch your body language. A lot of communication takes place in the interview room. And much of it is verbal. Or is it? 55% of all communication is actually non-verbal. So watch the movements you make with your hand, your legs, and even your face; they all mean something. For example, don’t cross your arms in front of your chest or you’ll come off as being defensive, and don’t make too many hand gestures or you’ll seem to be all over the place. Other gestures such as crossing your legs show confidence and dominance but don’t try that unless you’re applying for a senior position, lest you come off as being corky.
These tips will complement your responses and allow you to ace that interview no matter what position you’re after.
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