Regardless of your education and experience, a job interview is a high stress situation. You can have all of the training and past success in the world, yet still find yourself clamming up when it’s time to explain to the interviewer what makes you a good fit for this role. Unfortunately, if you’re unable to sell yourself effectively in the interview, you’ll probably find that you’re not getting the offers you were hoping for. Use these tips to manage your nerves and thrive during a job interview:
Speak slowly and don’t forget to breathe
When you get nervous, fear kicks in and you may start to panic. As a result you’ll sweat, and may speak very quickly. This can be off-putting to an interviewer, and may leave them with an impression of you that simply isn’t accurate. Fortunately, you can quickly quell your nerves and regain control.
Start by taking a few deep breaths before you start speaking. Fight the urge to feel as if you must spit out your answers as quickly as possible. It’s perfectly acceptable to pause after a question has been posed to you so that you can fully process the inquiry and respond accordingly. Gather your thoughts and respond only when you feel ready. Remember that the interviewer is a person too, and isn’t eager to watch you fail or flub your words.
Decide on key points that you want to touch on
While you may not know exactly what your interviewer will ask, you can still show up prepared for your discussion. Think about some of your biggest career accomplishments and strengths as a professional. Once you have these ideas in your mind, you can consciously find a way to incorporate these points into the discussion. Instead of blindly trying to answer the questions and hoping that you sold yourself and your accomplishments accordingly, you’re able to use the discussion to highlight key reasons why you could benefit that organization.
Feel comfortable with what you want to say
You don’t want to sound like a robot as you’re answering interview questions, but you also should feel fairly comfortable with the answers you’re delivering. To do this, consider rehearsing your answers in the shower, on the drive over, or in front of your mirror. When you’ve covered the major ideas you’re going to touch on in the discussion, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident when you actually have to give these answers to an interviewer in a high-pressure situation.
Lastly, remember to really listen to the questions that an interviewer is asking. Many people get so nervous that they completely zone out as the interviewer is talking, and are then left staring blankly when it’s their time to answer the inquiry. By listening carefully to the question, you’re able to deliver a more thoughtful and impressive answer.