6 Tips to Overcome Interview Fear

by Rich DeMatteo on August 11, 2009 · 1 comment

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Preparation in interviewing is absolutely crucial to your success as a candidate, and even those not experiencing fear should always prepare.  Click here to read up on interview preparation.  As an interviewer, I’ve worked with many candidates who have a fear of interviewing, some worse than others.  This is very common in people, possibly stemming from a fear of public speaking.  I’ve found a number of preparation tactics and mindsets that will help.  Here are COTJ’s 6 tips to overcome interview fear:

  1. Knowing is half the battle – Understanding the interview process is critical.  Many times candidates will receive emails explaining the interview process.  If you do not receive one, just ask.  It never hurts to ask.  Along with knowing the step by step process, find out the interview methodology they use.  If it happens to be behavioral, click here to read my tips on how to survive a behavioral interview.
  2. Memorize your resume - Read your resume until you can recite it without looking down.  Being able to hold eye contact with your interviewer is important.  Burning the contents of your resume into your brain will allow you to keep your head up the entire interview.  Don’t forget to smile.
  3. Remember, you’re interviewing the company as well – Whenever I’ve interviewed a nervous candidate, I always make sure to say, “Remember, you are interviewing us too, you need to make sure we are good enough for you!”  Come fully prepared with interview questions to ask your interviewer.  Click here to read questions that YOU should ask at an interview.
  4. What’s the worst that can happen? - Really, what’s the absolute worst thing that could happen?  I’m sure those with a creative mind can think of some interview horror stories, but most likely the worst thing that can happen will be that you won’t get the job.  So what?  You move on to the next opportunity.
  5. Arrive early – You should get to the interview location up to an hour before your appointment.  Sit in your car and read through your resume again.  Wait till you have around 15 minutes until the interview starts, then walk on in.  Being punctual is a positive, and your interviewer will remember it.  Recruiters and hiring managers have heard every excuse for being late.  From family emergencies to very ill pets, we’ve heard them all.  We we know that maybe half of them are being truthful, it really never helps your cause to lay an excuse on us.
  6. Smile – Smiling can be your best friend.  It’s one thing to be fearful of an interview, but its another thing to show your interviewer that you are scared.  Smiling will at least help to eliminate a fearful look on your face.  Smile and make eye contact, it brings you some much needed interview swagger.
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