Getting an interview produces mixed feelings. On the one hand, you are elated that your application passed and that you are through to the next stage. On the other hand, you now have to perform again, this time in real time in front of real people. Breathe. Take the steps calmly and logically to give yourself the best chance of performing well.
Good interview performance is usually closely connected to good preparation. Also, poor interviews usually stem from lack of preparation. Preparation is a simple process – nothing to get flustered about. Make sense of it by structuring it into smaller parts. Part one is learning about the place you are applying to. Go for detail, not just the “about us” page on the website. Who are their competitors and main clients? What sort of stuff have they been in the news for recently? How are they different to other similar companies? Effective research is the key to most interview successes.
When I conduct practice interviews in the Careers Centre, the main comment I usually make is “breathe”. Most people have a tendency to speed up their speech when nervous. Be aware of it. Record yourself, time yourself, listen to the ticks of a clock, ask a friend to listen to you. Do anything to show yourself how much time you actually have and persuade yourself to slow your speech down to a normal conversational level. It won’t much matter what you have prepared if you run through it at cheetah speed. Give your interviewers the chance to keep up!
3. It’s not over until it’s over.
When the interview is over, continue to act like you are in the interview. Keep the calmer tempo in your speech and walk calmly out the room and building. Keep your interview head on and avoid the temptation to check your phone. You never know, you might meet a big boss in the lift… you’ll want to feel just as calm and confident as you did in that room. This extends to the phone call after the event too.