Even just thinking about a job interview is sure to make anybody nervous. Not only do we have to worry about making sure that all our credentials and qualifications are in order, but we also have to take into consideration the forces that are beyond our control, like traffic on the way or the weather on the day of the interview.
While these stresses can be easily managed by some, others really struggle with staying calm and managing emotions ahead of the interview.
So whether you’re a fresh graduate that’s just about to look for their first job or someone that’s aiming for greener pastures to further their career, here are a number of helpful tips that will improve your chances of being hired, and also your job hunting experience.
4 Helpful Tips As You Head Into A Job Interview
1. Leave for the job interview early, BUT…
Leave home early and arrive on time – that’s the idea.
After all, first impressions do affect your likeliness of being hired by the company, and if you can’t be punctual in the hiring stage, that will reflect what you might be like as an employee.
But did you know that the alternative – arriving an hour before the interview or earlier – is also seen as being a bad thing?
Although doing so would make it seem like you stick to your commitments and that you are eager to prove that you are the best candidate for the position, arriving really early can also cause the interviewer to feel rushed, especially if they’re still in a meeting or with another candidate.
As a result, it would be best to observe the fifteen-minute window of arriving for the interview.
But if you’re afraid that trying to do this would cause you to be late, then the best way to do this is to find a cafe or restaurant nearby to kill time.
Not only will this allow you to rest and relax a little before the interview, but you can also use this time to practice your answers so that you’re more than prepared to tackle this interview.
2. Greet and befriend the secretary.
While waiting for your turn, it is not uncommon for secretaries or receptionists to try and strike up a conversation with you.
This is not only a good way to pass the time, but it may also influence your chances of being hired indirectly.
You should remember that this isn’t so much as you trying to be chummy with them, but also an effective way to show what kind of person you are and if you are the kind of coworker they’d like to interact with on a daily basis.
New applicants obviously want to impress the boss and/or the interviewer and there is nothing wrong with that, but having the security tell the boss that you have been ignoring might be a turn-off.
3. Don’t let assessment tests catch you off guard!
It’s already nerve-wracking to make sure that you have the proper qualifications and experience needed before you can even apply for the position that you want.
However, there is nothing compared to the interview. And if you have to take a company-specific assessment, personality, or psychometric test as part of the hiring process, it’s going to be even more stressful.
If you are told about the test beforehand, you might be able to prepare for it a bit – but it also might make you extremely nervous. I have sat up the night before thinking about having to take the assessment test the next day, unable to sleep but wanting to do well.
Some companies require candidates to take these tests before they can go through the interview process but more often than not you will have to take them after you’ve gone through an initial interview, making these tests even more important.
Companies do this so that they’ll know how you’ll perform and how efficient you are under stress. As a result, it would be a good idea to research the company that you are applying for, check what industry it is in, and see if they have or if they utilize some sort of personality or assessment test that applicants will have to take.
You can find a lot of info about these tests online so you can prepare beforehand.
4. Be wary of ‘trap’ questions.
This tip is more for those who are looking for a new job and are currently employed.
The questions we’re talking about range from things like ‘tell us a bit about yourself’ or ‘name a weakness of yours.’ These questions are a great way for interviewers to get a look into the person you really are and can be a bit of a trap for many interviewees.
These questions can cause candidates to lower their guard and make them say things about their previous employer or company. This is a huge turnoff throughout the job interview process and can be a breaking point between getting a job and not getting it.
Remember: In case that you do get hired, the company that you are applying for will be your new employer, and if you accidentally made an outburst or insulted your previous company, they will assume that you could do this about them in the future.
As a result, it would be best instead to act professional and state something that is not so negative and critical. For introverts who might find it hard to socialize and express themselves in a stressful setting, answering these ‘trap’ questions poorly can be a big part of the interview process.
Do what you can to stay loose
The final, and most important part, for an introvert as they head into a job interview is to do what they can to stay loose. You need to learn yourself and figure out how you can go into the interview with the right mindset.
Whether it’s taking mock tests beforehand, or arriving early, or maybe it’s something else you know can help you relax – you’ll need to figure it out for yourself.
What tips do you have for introverts preparing for a job interview? We’d love to hear what you do to stay calm and prepare.