5 Tips to Help You Beat the Fear of Interviews

by Khare, Shweta Tuesday, April 24, 2007
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“Thinking of the interview or the forthcoming presentation makes my hands and legs tremble, I feel nervous and cannot breathe easily.”

It is not uncommon to experience fear or anxiety before an interview, but since the interview process is your gateway to the job, you must make efforts towards addressing this issue honestly. Here are some tips that might help you in overcoming the anxiety.

Address the Question – Why do you Fear the Interview?
Unless you know the reason for the fear its elimination is not all that possible and effective. Be honest to yourself – find out which aspect of the interview process daunts you the most. Make a list of your fears and address and eliminate them one by one. If you are unable to address the reason for your anxiety don’t hesitate to ask for help from experts or your family and friends. Discussing and talking out aloud can sometimes help in understanding the situation better.

Anticipate Questions
Imagine yourself as the recruiter or the hiring manager for the position you are applying. What questions would you ask your would-be employee? Search websites and articles for tips on how to answer questions like:

“What are your strengths?”
“How would you be an asset to the company?”
“Why did you leave your last job?”
“Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? What are your long-term goals?”

Prepare Answers
The importance of being prepared cannot be overemphasized. It is essential for a good interview or a presentation; the more you prepare, the more confident you shall be. Spare some time to research about the company, ask friends or acquaintances who are in similar industry about the latest in their fields and don’t hesitate to ask them what questions you could expect during the interviews. They can help you through their own experience of interviews or through their own knowledge of being experts in their fields.

Focus on the Positives
Talk about your strengths and first convince yourself on what you can do really well, once you feel the self-confidence the person on the other side of the table will sense it as you talk confidently and convincingly about your abilities. It is all about the confidence and spend a lot of time developing this essential skill and you can go anywhere you want. The interview is the time where you get ample time to project yourself, do so confidently and be articulate and to the point on how you can benefit the company.

Hold Mock Sessions
We usually feel anxious and nervous because of stepping in an unknown territory. What if you simulate the situation beforehand? Plan and rehearse mock interviews sessions with friends, family or your coach, it can help in eliminating any left over fear and give you that wonderful confidence that you need to ace your forthcoming interview. It can also be a good idea to video record these sessions, replay and judge your performance. Don’t look only at the downsides and on possible improvements, don’t be too critical. Focus on what you liked about yourself during this session and how can you highlight your strengths more or accentuate your positives more during the interview. Also get feedback from those you held the mock sessions with, don’t’ be defensive and be open to constructive criticism.

And always remember that you don’t have to be perfect to get that job. Be yourself and be confident; the right preparation and attitude can take you anywhere you want to go!