Last week I sat opposite a candidate who on paper ticked all of the essential boxes. However, as beads of sweat gathered and grew on his forehead, I began to wonder if he was such a great candidate after all. The room was cool and the content of his answers was disappointing, it quickly became apparent that the sweaty forehead was the result of a bad case of interview nerves.
Interview nerves are common and understandable but do not let them sabotage your performance. After all, an interview is your opportunity to showcase why you are the best person for the role.
Below are five points to consider to help you overcome sweaty foreheads, sweaty hands, stuttering, nervous ticks, brain freeze or, worst of all, general loss of the ability to speak. I have seen it all and often the inclination is to simply hug said candidate and let them know I am rooting for them. However, such maternal behaviour would simply not be the ‘done’ thing, so instead I offer this blog:
• Remember that you are fantastic; you are supposed to be there. Don’t focus on potential gaps on your CV or any other real or imagined shortcomings. Interviews are very rarely open auditions. If you have been invited it is because someone in the process believes that you may be the right person for the role.
• Understand why you have been invited. If you have a role description, underline the key qualities that are outlined. Then go through your CV and underline your relevant skills to match those qualities. Keep these at the forefront of your mind and fluidly get these points across. It is not a good idea to memorise practise answers as they may not be asked and you risk sounding over rehearsed.
• Do your research. Knowledge is power; you need to research as broadly and deeply as possible. You should have a view of the industry, company, competitors, team and person that you are meeting.
• The authentic ‘you’ should be ok. It is important to arrive well-presented and behave professionally. However you should not need to take on a whole new persona. An interview is a two way process and it is also your chance to assess if this is an organisation that you want to work with. If you have to be someone else then maybe it is just not the right place for you.
• Believe that you are the best person for the role. If you don’t believe you are the best person for the role, why should anyone else?