It’s happened—you’ve finally received “the call”. A jolt of energy runs through your body followed by a discouraging sense of self-doubt and panic. “What if I fail?” you ask yourself. “What if… What if… What if…”
It happens to the best of us. As a mature student, I’ve been to my fair share of interviews, from interviewing for my first job at Harvey’s when I was 14 years old to interviewing for larger media agencies. I have had the time to make mistakes, but most of all, to learn from them.
Allow me to break it down and explain how you can fight those interview jitters and strut into the interview as though you already have the job.
- Do your homework
What I’ve found is that simply doing some prior research into the company and getting a good grasp on who they are, what they do, and what their overall core values are can help you kick start your preparation in a positive direction.
- Be prepared
Part of your prep should involve gathering potential questions that your interviewer might ask and learning how to read body language.
Prepare mock interview questions and figure out how to answer them. If you’re unsure about where to gather these questions, you can always do a quick Google search. I know this may seem like a cliché way and perhaps overplayed scenario for some of us, but hey, it works. Trust me. This level of preparation can be the difference between you getting the job or not.
- Read your Interviewer’s body language
Once you have aced your interview questions on your own and feel prepared, you need to understand that your responses may need a quick costume change. When I enter an interview, the first thing I do is read my interviewer’s body language.
Mimic your interviewer’s “vibe”. If he or she is calm, relaxed, and laid-back, then be calm, relaxed, and laid-back. If they are extremely extroverted and friendly, then you want to project that same energy.
Think of an interview as playing a role. You need to play off what the other actor is giving you. Your interviewer is most likely the individual whom you will be reporting to, so you want to be on the same page and express that you would be great—if not exceptional—for the team.
- Dress the part
Nothing says, “I look the part,” like feeling good about yourself. Dress well. It’s not only crucial for landing the job, but it can be a great confidence booster.
Now, I’m not saying we all have to wear Prada and Tom Ford to our interviews, but it‘s in your best interest to dress for the occasion.
I have witnessed a few occasions where an interviewee has shown up like they’ve just had a night out partying. They’re in a hoodie and wrinkled jeans and they look frazzled and disoriented. This may seem cute for your 9 a.m. Friday lectures, but in the real world, it can be quite the turnoff and express a complete lack of professionalism no matter how talented you are.
Always remember, you already have the skills the employer is looking for or else you wouldn’t have gotten an interview in the first place. What you need to be focusing on now is selling yourself, your skills, and why you would be the best fit for the organization. So don’t panic. Do your homework, be prepared, dress for the part, and say hello to your new job!