I get really nervous before interviews. What can I do before going in that could help settle the nerves? (Other than a shot of Tequila. I tried that and it didn’t go so well.)
Dear Nervous Nelly,
Save the tequila for after the interview, then follow Lola’s 5 ways to banish job interview nerves.
1) Be yourself and don’t stress the small mice.
An interview is all about showing your potential employer ‘who you are’, so be yourself. By that I mean your ‘work self’, not your ‘at home self’ with skinny jeans and Ugg boots. (Just because they are comfy doesn’t mean they should EVER be worn in public.)
2) Remember that you are really a superhero.
Go through your resume and think of the super powers you used to survive different catastrophes in your last positions. Examples of how you saved a group of executives from the coming apocalypse of not having a car service meet them at the airport, or staving off the end of modern communication when your boss couldn’t sync her Blackberry are all great examples. You’ve saved the day a lot of times; have one or two good episodes ready to share before the interview.
3) Focus on your super powers.
When you are clear on the ‘strengths’ that you used in each situation rather than all the things you are not, you will have a natural confidence without sounding all uppity about the superhero thing.
4) Do your research, but don’t be creepy.
The more you know about the company, the less foreign it will seem when you are there. I’m not talking about hiding in trees outside the offices or stalking the recruiting team, just spend some time on their website and social media pages. Do not try and friend their personal pages on Facebook or Tweet personal things to them. That’s just a little on the creepy side.
5) Smile, but not too much.
Smiling is the best way for you to relax and present yourself to every new person you meet. Just remember to stop smiling at some point. You don’t want to come across as a deranged person on lithium that can’t stop smiling.
Refresh yourself on 1-5 before you head to the interview and remember to breathe. Humans that don’t know how to breathe, don’t land jobs.
Once you are home you can have all the tequila you like. I prefer a single malt scotch in my Czechoslovakian cut crystal bowl, but to each their own.
Stick with my plan and you won’t need luck, but good luck anyway.
Do you have a job seeking or office etiquette question for Lola*Cat? Send her an email: DearLolaCat@alanjblair.com