I was asked to write this post for the Recruit for Spouses website www.recruitforspouses.co.uk which specialises in assisting spouses of military personnel who wish to return to the workplace.
When we dress the part we act the part, even if the interview is on the phone. Present yourself so that you look confident and feel at your best, it makes all the difference. Recruit for Spouses partners with Smart Works, providing women with smart clothing and skills for interviews www.smartworks.org.uk
2) Be Prepared.
3 things the interviewer really wants to know are a) Can you do this job? b) Will you do the job better than the other candidates? c) Will you fit in? Show you have considered this by reading up on the company, their aims, values, and how your background and transferable skills match up.
We often find the ‘easy’ questions the hardest to answer, such as “tell me about yourself?” or “why do you want this job?”. Sit in front of the mirror and ask questions to yourself over and over until you have succinct but interesting answers. Add something personal which is a little different so that you are memorable. Don’t say too much, or too little, maintain relaxed eye contact, and practice not fidgeting so that you appear composed.
4) Speak to friends and contacts – especially those who interview others or could help you to prepare in any of the ways above.
5) Plan your build-up.
Get some exercise the morning or night before to help rid you of excess tension. Go to bed early. Drink water rather than too much caffeine. Eat a light healthy meal so that you feel bright not sluggish. Listen to music which puts you in the right frame of mind. Smell lavender to induce calm. Wear or carry a lucky charm – whatever gives you confidence and helps you to feel calmer – use it!
6) Turn fear into excitement.
It’s natural to feel nervous but turn this into a positive by viewing yourself as full of anticipation and excitement instead. You deserve this interview and you have prepared as best you can, now be excited and show what you can do.
7) Visualise and pretend.
Our nervous system responds instantly and strongly to our imagination. Close your eyes, and when you open them again you have miraculously become a person who is brilliant at interviews. Act like they would act and you will feel like they would feel – calm, competent, and in control.
8) Expect the unexpected.
You can’t control everything, so don’t expect to. There have been successful candidates who have been stuck in traffic and arrived 2 hours after their scheduled time, but who have remained impressively calm and got the job!
9) Use ‘Toilet Seat Therapy’.
If you feel the nerves rising, find the loo and regain your calm. Watch this YouTube clip to see Cat Williams explaining what ‘Toilet Seat Therapy’ is all about! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zcjpb_8PC0
10) Keep things in perspective.
Even those who excel at interviews know they won’t get the job every time. You can’t control whether you get it or not, but you can control how you react and what your next step will be. Learn from the interview and build upon it, after all, that’s how people who excel at interviews have probably learnt it all!
Have faith in yourself and good luck!
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