The job market is highly competitive and the only thing standing between you and your new job is how well you prepare for your interview.
Sometimes we let our nerves get the better of us, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
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According to career coach Lisa Quast, life “routinely throws us curves, and that’s just as likely to happen on your job-interview day as any other day. Traffic could be bad. You might spill something on the blouse you planned to wear.”
“Any number of things could go wrong that aren’t directly related to the interview but can knock you off your game,” Quast, who is author of “Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach: A Foolproof Guide to Getting the Job You Want Every Time”, says.
Life can throw you off course but that does not go without saying that one must prepare adequately for an interview. Do the following to help you have a stress-free interview:
Verify the location
Firstly, you must know the location of the interview prior to the actual day of the interview. It is advisable to verify the location by checking on the company’s website.
If you realize the place is unfamiliar to you, key in the address on your GPS to look for the shortest possible route so you are not late on the day of the interview.
“When in doubt, do a trial run,” Quast says. “You can drive there the weekend before to get the lay of the land and see where to park.”
Don’t rely on technology alone. Always have a hard copy with the address and driving directions, just in case GPS or the smartphone fails you.
Get the job title and name of interviewer right
It will be a big blunder if you get the name of the interviewer wrong. It is advisable to print out a copy of the job posting so as to get all the details about the job and interviewer right.
“It always surprises me how many people show up for a job interview and can’t remember the name of the hiring manager or even the job title of the position they’re interviewing for,” Quast says. “Don’t be one of those people.”
Do not be late
Leave your calendar open on the day of the interview in order to avoid lateness. By adding other things to your itinerary, you end up rushing into the interview because you had to get there from a previous engagement, or you are in a hurry to leave because of another engagement that follows closely.
“The interview could take much longer than you think going in,” Quast says. For example, if things are going well, you might be asked to interview with others in the organization.
Be sure to schedule ample time in case you need to stay longer. “You don’t want to be stealing quick glances at your watch when you should be listening to what the hiring manager is saying,” Quast says.
Do not put your phone on silence. Turn it off
When the phone is on vibration or on silence and you see the lights blink during the interview, it throws you off course, often without you realizing it. The interviewer also gets to see you are distracted and it doesn’t speak well of you.
Unknowingly you might have set an alarm as well and that will sound mistakenly during the interview. “When I say off, I mean off,” Quast says. “Don’t put it on vibrate.”
Do not ingest too much liquid on the day of your interview
Although everyone uses the bathroom when they need to pee, it doesn’t augur well when you ask for a bathroom break during an interview. Make sure you empty your bladder just before the receptionist alerts management that you are in.
Better still, reduce the liquids you take, especially coffee, prior to the interview.
Give yourself a small vote of confidence before your interview. Remember, the hiring manager probably saw a skill you have on your CV before arranging for the interview. You got this, now go ahead and ace this interview.
“One additional thing you can do is give yourself a pep talk before the interview,” Quast says. “Mentally remind yourself of all the things you plan to do during the interview, the points you want to make about your experience and the questions you have about the company.
The nerves will not leave you completely but at least you know the things you can do to ease you into the interview.
“You may not be able to eliminate all the butterflies, but your preparation should help reduce the stress and let you concentrate on making the most of the opportunity.”