Going to interviews with the right attitude

I don’t think anybody really enjoys going for an interview or an important meeting where the outcome needs to be a favourable one. Often it is the pressure we put on ourselves that creates the nerves, especially if we focus too much on what will happen if the meeting is not successful.

One of the most common reasons for being nervous about an interview or giving a presentation for that matter, is you have not prepared yourself well enough beforehand. First you should take time to research the company you are applying to join, which should be pretty easy as you can browse through their website. You may also be able to find news items on the company depending on how large they are.

The next thing you should do is think about the type of questions they are going to ask for. Typically the questions you are going to get will be similar to the following:

Why do you want this job?
Why did you leave your last position?
Tell us a bit about our company
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
Can you give an example where you demonstrated (fill the blank)
What would you do to improve (fill in the blank)
How would you handle a situation if somebody (fill in the blank)
Tell us a bit about what you do in your spare time
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

…and so on.

A quick Google search will bring up a list of the most typical questions you will get, but also think about what questions they might ask that are specific to the role. Think about what you have done in the past that could relate to the position you are applying for.

The next thing to think about is your mindset. The way you walk in the room, the way you speak, your body language, all these things will be judged, albeit sub-consciously and is very important in helping you secure the role.

If you walk in there like a bag of nerves with a shaky voice and red cheeks, it’s not going to give the best impression. So before you go in, you need to remind yourself that you are well prepared for the interview and that you are ‘the man’ (or woman). Say in your head that you totally ‘have this’ and it will be in their best interest to employ you.

I’m not saying that you should come across cocky, but you want to walk in with your head high and with an air of confidence. It helps to picture somebody in your mind that you consider a confident person, and to some degree you almost want to become them for the duration of the interview. I’m not saying you should do an impression of them, but just borrowing that confidence and speaking nice and clearly with an air of authority will do wonders for your interview.

Lastly, as the late and great Dale Carnegie would point out, think about what’s the absolute worst that could happen if it doesn’t go to plan. Well, typically you apply for another job, but this time having had some practice from the interview you are currently going for. The more you do, the better you will become. Life’s simply too short to worry too much about it, just give it your best shot.

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