So you’ve perfected your CV, you’ve trawled through the job boards and found the best positions, you’ve sent in your applications after painstakingly rewriting your covering letter multiple times...the list goes on. Lo and behold, you’ve secured an interview. Congratulations! That is fantastic news.
As the interview date approaches, however, your initial excitement may start to give way to some of those pesky interview nerves. This is entirely normal, but why does it happen? Are you overthinking it, perhaps? Maybe you’re desperate to impress your future boss, or you want to prove yourself to your family? Whatever is playing on your mind, you won’t be the only one to have felt like this before an interview.
Don’t let your nerves get the better of you – follow Simply Law Jobs’ 5 proven steps below to beat interview nerves.
Don’t speak too fast
A common characteristic of being nervous is that people have a tendency to speak more quickly than normal. Often this is because they are uncomfortable and are overcompensating. Although it is very common, it is definitely something that needs to be avoided. Fast talking in an interview can give the impression that a candidate is not terribly confident and cannot remain composed under pressure. Also, if you speak too fast during your interview, the recruiter may miss a valid point that you were trying to make, which could lower your chances of getting the job.
If this sounds like you, then don’t worry – it is a common trait. The important thing is to be aware of it and to know how to avoid it by trying to keep yourself calm. Breathing methods work really well here. Before the interview, try inhaling for 10 seconds, holding your breath for 5 seconds and exhaling for 10 seconds. Do this as many times as you need to, and afterwards you will feel much calmer – which hopefully means you will be able to speak at a slower pace during your interview.
If you hear yourself speeding up during the interview, pause, take a deep breath and continue. Focus on what you are saying, and make sure you are speaking at a gentler rate. Forcing yourself to maintain a calm pace will automatically make you feel calmer, as it slows your breathing and allows you to concentrate on what you are saying, thereby increasing your confidence.
Plan and prepare
The best way to keep your cool is to be prepared. Employers want organised staff, and you’d be surprised how easily they can gauge this during your interview.
The best way to prepare for an interview is to research the company that you want to work for. You can easily do this online. Companies talk about their products, business goals and company ethos on their websites and on social media. Know their products and how they work, and if possible research the person who is interviewing you to get a better understanding of what they do. Displaying your knowledge in the interview WILL impress – and it’s a very easy way of proving just how much you care about the job in question. After all, you wouldn’t go into an exam without revising, so don’t treat an interview any differently if you’re serious about the role.
Think carefully about what sorts of questions you may be asked in your interview. You may not be able to guess each one exactly but you can anticipate the topics that will be discussed. This gives you the perfect opportunity to prepare some answers and relieve some of the pressure on the day. To ensure that you don’t come across as robotic when presenting your answers, focus on rehearsing in detail how you are going to apply each point you want to make rather than creating an exact script. This also means that you can use points you have prepared for other appropriate questions if the exact one you had predicted does not come up.
The key here is that you don’t want to come across as scripted during your interview, and you definitely don’t want to just answer the question. When we say this, we mean that you should always emphasise your answers with an example, preferably from experience. Answering questions in black and white will suggest that you’ve only put the bare minimum into your preparation.
Punctuality is so important during the interview stage. You only get one chance to make a first impression, but more importantly being early gives you time to collect your thoughts and plan ahead. While the employer is happy to see that you’re both organised and ready to impress, you can gather your thoughts – it’s a win-win situation.
One word of caution, though: try not to arrive too early – it could put unnecessary pressure on the interviewer to finish their work before their meeting with you. Wait in your car or outside the venue until around 10 minutes before your meeting – you might even want to prepare your answers out loud to kill some time.
The time before a job interview is always nerve-wracking. But those crucial minutes are your chance to get into the right mindset and really focus on your purpose and objectives. Instead of stressing, ask yourself what impression you want to leave your interviewer with and plan the questions you would like to ask at the end of the interview. By focusing on what you want to get out of the interview, you move away from feeling the strain over how you would like to perform.
Want more advice on how to tackle your interview? Take a look at the Simply Law Jobs careers advice section for more blogs.
Article provided by Simply Law Jobs.
At Simply Law Jobs, we specialise in advertising thousands of the latest job vacancies across all levels of the legal sector. We are the UK’s leading legal niche job board, providing businesses with a cost-effective and efficient alternative to generic job sites. Job seekers are at the core of what we do, so we offer candidates a site tailored entirely to their industry. Our promise is simple, we ensure quality over quantity and provide the very best approach to candidate targeting, delivering an outstanding return on investment.