What happens if you forget one of your best prepared answers in the job interview? This is just one of the many scary thoughts you may have beforehand. When it actually happens, it is even more heart stopping. Other scary thoughts during the interview could really put you off your performance so let us have a look at these and look at the best way of dealing with them. Negative thoughts can rear their ugly heads during the interview but if you are well prepared, you can easily banish these and move on.
1. I have made a bad first impression
So, your handshake was a bit limp or just far too forceful? Maybe you are so nervous that your mouth is already dry and you lost your usual poise when you entered the room. Time to move on because there is a lot to be done and you can easily recover from these minor setbacks. The interviewers’ perceptions were probably completely different anyway.
But for the next time, remember to wipe your hands before entering and also aim for a firm handshake and maintain eye contact.
2. I am taking too far too long to answer the questions
Interviewers do not expect rapid, flash answers because they can give the impression of being far too smart and even superficial. They also might give the impression of something learned off by heart, especially if it does not match exactly what was asked. So, let us get this into perspective:
- You cannot predict or prepare all the answers.
- Interviewers do expect you to think about the questions before plunging in.
- Reflection can be positive.
The solution is to play for time by asking for clarification. You might not be sure or you may need more details. You can also choose to answer partially, then jump in and ask the clarifying question. This is much better than waffling on. Also bear in mind that some questions may be deliberately ambiguous so that asking for clarification means that you are thoughtful and on the ball.
3. I am too nervous
During the interview, an attack of nerves can be very upsetting. Most of these problems need to be addressed before the interview. Try these hacks for the next time:
- Reduce nerves by being well prepared.
- Arrive early.
- Learn breathing techniques to practise before being called in.
- Run your wrists under cold water in the restroom when you arrive at the venue. This does help and also try dabbing this water behind your ears.
- Reduce fidgeting by keeping a copy of your CV in your hand.
- Sit comfortably so that correct breathing is facilitated.
4. I am not up to speed on the company’s mission
If you suddenly feel that there are some gaps in your knowledge, then you should have prepared more carefully. Here are some standard tasks that you need to do beforehand:
- Research the company fully.
- Familiarize yourself with their products, mission, projects and policies.
- Study the job description again and make sure that your skills match the duties and prepare for some likely questions.
- Study their publicity and brochures.
5. I cannot remember these people’s names
You may be given the names of the interviewers beforehand. One way to avoid a memory lapse is to make sure that you have researched their careers and any other notable features about them. You have seen their photos on the Linked In profiles so it will be easier to match the name and the face when the time comes. This also helps you to engage with the interviewer very quickly.
6. I am unable to answer some of the tough questions
Questions about leadership, mundane work, weaknesses, and ambitions can really throw you. They can ask you how you define success or why you have been in a job for such a short time or even a long time. The list is endless. But preparation will stand you in good stead here. Study these questions and answers here from a well known recruitment agency in the UK.
7. I can’t do this
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson
All too often, you may feel that the negative thoughts are getting the upper hand and this can be disastrous for your performance. They can distract you and cause you to give wrong or careless answers.
Keeping your thoughts positive and upbeat is the best possible way of being successful. This has been proved over and over again. In addition, sitting upright is not just a matter of looking good. It can assist in maximizing your breathing and helping you to remain confident, relaxed and optimistic.
8. I cannot stand this silence
Very often, there are silent moments towards the end of an interview and these can be awkward for you. Traditionally, the request for questions about the company will come at this point. Make sure you have plenty of questions up your sleeve.
However, there will be other moments when it may not be so easy to fill the vacuum. As regards what salary you are expecting, this can often result in silence. One technique is to respond with a question, such as: ‘What salary range were you thinking of for this post?’ As regards remaining in touch, you can ask about who will initiate the next contact after the interview.
As we have seen, scary thoughts need not be the protagonists at your interview. Preparing well can eliminate most of these, although everyone will be nervous to some extent.
How have you coped with interview nerves and scary thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured photo credit: Interview/Alan Cleaver via flickr.com