Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Preparing for a Job Interview

preparing for a job interview

So you've finally gotten yourself a job interview.  If you thought the hard work was over, well, you're going to be a bit disappointed.  The really hard part comes when you are preparing for the big event. 

When I talk about preparing for a job interview, I'm not referring to getting all your paperwork in order.  In this case, I want to talk about overcoming the anxiety that can creep in before you even get to the interview.  We all get nervous about these situations, and the first step to conquering these fears is to acknowledge them.  It's only natural to feel some anxiety when you are about to do something that could decide not only your financial situation, but your career path.  You can begin to start the process to calm yourself down once you can admit to yourself that you are nervous.

You must fight the urge to do more than you are capable of doing.  This not only contributes to anxiety, but it also can severely hinder your performance during the interview.  If you watch any professional sport, you will often hear announcers attributing a players struggles to "trying too hard."  They say that those struggles will end as soon as they just try to enjoy the moment and play within themselves.  The same rules apply during your job interview preparation.  Sit yourself down and just try to enjoy this opportunity.  Remind yourself that you were chosen for this interview because of the traits you exhibited in your resume and cover letter; you don't have to be anyone other than that person.

You can turn to simple breathing exercises if there is still some anxiety left after this.  I'm no psychologist, but this has always helped me when preparing for interviews.  You need to be able to concentrate on your breathing, and get it to a relaxed pace.  Your breathing tends to quicken when you feel anxiety.  Slowing it down to a more relaxed pace can help reduce those feelings. 

One final technique that can also help is role-playing.  Acting out the interview with a friend or family member can help you get out some of that anxiety.  It can feel a little bit uncomfortable at first, but it's a good way to prepare what you will want to say.  One of the causes of anxiety about job interviews is not knowing exactly what to say.  An interview role-play is unlikely to match the real event.  It can give you a pretty good idea of what you will want to say in response to specific questions.

Anxiety is a normal thing.  We wouldn't be human without feeling it.  That doesn't mean we can't do anything to lessen its impacts on important events like job interviews.


  1. I'd add that another method of preparation is doing your research on the company and the recruiter before the interview. And by “research” I mean more than just reviewing the company’s web page. Know some about the industry and the company’s place in it… some of the major competitors… know something about their product.

    Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better able to ask specific questions. You’ll be better able to show the recruiter that you are serious about the job and that you are capable of performing in it. This in turn will increase your confidence, and reduce your anxiety.

    Matthew Forrest
    Social Media Marketing Intern, YouTern

  2. I totally agree, Matthew. If you aren't able to show you did the research before your interview, you will be hurting you chances to get the job.

  3. Searching for the background of the company you want to work is really necessary. I believe that the key for a successful interview is self confidence.
    american jobs

  4. I've applied for two administrative posts at two non-profits. Coming from the corporate media world, I certainly anticipate some stark differences, but certain jobs are basically the same no matter whether you're working to help fill the coffers or making sure some challenged person find a home and a meal. The "bottom line" may take different forms, but it exists nevertheless. We strive for success no matter what.

  5. Tks very much for your post.

    Avoid surprises — interviews need preparation. Some questions come up time and time again — usually about you, your experience and the job itself. We've gathered together the most common questions so you can get your preparation off to a flying start.

    You also find all interview questions at link at the end of this post.

    Source: Top 10 interview questions and answers

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