An interview process can often be one of the most stressful times you can go through. You have to sell yourself and your experiences to a person or group of people that you don't know in an environment completely new to you. They can ask you all sorts of questions and you don't know if you will be able to answer them. You feel vulnerable and this is a stressful sensation.
After all that bad news there is some good tidings. You can reduce the stress of a job interview significantly by following the simple guidelines below.
First off, adhere to the old adage : if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. You must prepare for the interview thoroughly.
This includes some basic research of the company. Things like their history, the CEO, topical news items about the company and the people that will be interviewing you and their relationship to the job. The chances are that you may not need all this information. But it would make a great impression if you could make a comment about the latest piece of news on the company. This will allow you to converse with the interviewers about non- interview topics and develop a relationship with them. This can relieve the stress of talking to strangers.
You should think about the likely questions that you will be asked and formulate answers to them. You can practise answering these questions aloud or write notes about the answer to study. This will give you confidence that you will be able to answer some of the questions satisfactorily.
Be sure that your suit or attire is dry cleaned and ready to wear a week before the interview. It can take a few days to get clothing cleaned and you don't want to be thinking about it. That includes a haircut, don't wait until the day before, get it done a week before. You want as little stress inducing activities as possible for the days before the interview.
Work out how you will get to the interview and estimate the time it will take. Make a dry run of the trip before the interview if you want to be exact. If you are taking public transport always give yourself extra time for delays or missed connections. It is important that you arrive on time, not just in the eyes of the potential employers but your own peace of mind
On the day of the interview the challenge is to stay calm and focused on the objective. You are giving a honest account of your personality, skills and abilities. You are also going to find out if the job is right for you. The interview is a two way process. You are asking them questions and they are selling their company to you. This is a good way to reduce the stress that you are giving a performance and they are there to judge you. This will also develop a dialogue during the interview and show that you are enthusiastic about the job.
An important technique when answering questions is to relate your personal experiences/skills to the question asked rather than change the subject by talking about unrelated things in the eyes of the interviewers. This will keep the interview on track and give it a sense of continuity.
Finally, you should thank the interviewer for the opportunity and ask when you are likely to hear from them. You can send a follow up message if you have not heard from them by then.