5 Tips to Overcome Job Your Interview Jitters


Congratulations! Thanks to your resume doing its job well, you just got invited to a job interview. The good news is you passed the first hurdle. The bad news, of course, is that you are now going through the interview jitters.

Here are five tips that will help you overcome your jitters and excel at your job interview…

1. Do your homework

Interviews are not simple to obtain, so you must now prepare yourself to make sure you take full advantage of this opportunity. Doing your homework may sound like a no brainer, but it’s amazing how many people show up unprepared for the interview. If all you know is the company’s name and the general line of business they’re in, then you are not properly prepared. Simply, with today’s easy access to information this is inexcusable. At a minimum, you should visit their website and understand their business and product offerings. But if you really want to appear prepared, you should take it one step further You should learn as much as you can about the company’s value proposition. Who are their competitors? How do they stack up against them? What kind of market position do they hold in the industry?

Based on what you uncover, try a simple exercise of asking yourself these questions:
– what sort of person do I imagine this company is looking for to fulfill this particular position?
– what might this job really involved?
– do my skills fit into this role?

2. Be ready with examples to support your answers

One of the quickest ways for the interviewer to lose interest, is if your answers are lacking any substance. You will need to avoid giving vague and generalized responses, and instead be prepared to provide specific examples. For instance, if the interviewer were to ask you questions such as “Describe a difficult challenge you had with a co-worker and how you overcame it”, “Tell me one of the greatest achievements you’ve accomplished during this past year and how you managed it”, “Describe one of your greatest disappointments you recently had and what lessons you learned from it”…etc. You need to provide precise examples.

Naturally, you cannot anticipate every question you might be asked, but you can probably cover most of the main ones. Think of questions of this nature related to your field or position you’re seeking. If you deal with clients, for instance, be prepared to offer examples of successes and failures in specific client situations. Same would hold true if you are a manager or a technical professional interacting with vendors, suppliers, other internal departments, etc.  And always answer the question as it relates to your job and the business. Never use personal life/family examples unless the interviewer steers you in that direction.

3. Bring a smile and the right attitude

People respond positively to courtesy and friendliness, and your interviewer is no exception. That said, do not confuse your interviewer with your buddy. Don’t tell jokes, never! A little light humor is all right if the situation calls for it, but know when to quickly pull the breaks. You want to do your part in creating a friendly exchange: smile, listen, answer with confidence and specifics, be polite, and ask questions when it is your turn to ask.

4.  Solve the employer’s problem

Job interviews cause anxiety, self-doubts and the jitters. It’s perfectly normal, we all experience it. However, there’s a way to tweak these fears by following a simple formula. That is, instead of thinking of your interview as a “test” where you will either fail or succeed, think of it as an opportunity to showcase your talents. Picture the interviewer as being someone who has a big problem. Someone who is overworked, has a lot on his/her plate, and now on top of it all they are tasked with filling this position and finding a qualified candidate in a short period of time. And that’s where you come in!

Think of yourself as an “engineer” of sorts. Someone who has come to offer a solution to this timely problem of having to fill an open position. Don’t be arrogant, but answer with confidence. The inference is that by hiring you the company is getting a winner. You know you’re an asset. Now it’s time to communicate this to your interviewer.

5. Make some 3 by 5 inch cards

Even in this age of mobile devices, it wouldn’t hurt to come prepared with a few cards in your jacket or purse. Write your positive affirmations, statements, answers to questions you anticipate and whatever you feel will help. Take a moment to review them before the interview. In fact, run a pilot test the night before the interview as you prepare your cards.

By following these simple tips, you will go a long way to reducing the surprise factor for your interview. Thus, will feel more in control, adequately prepared and confident. In short, preparing well is the greatest antidote to the interview jitters.