If you’re going through the process of finding employment, spare a thought for the interviewer who may be as anxious as you are yourself.
The odds are not stacked against you.
In many cases the interviewer won’t be a hiring professional but somebody picked at random from off the desk. They may not even have been given the time to see your CV or know anything about you (it happens), so they will reflect back on the questions that they themselves were asked when they were in your own position. This can be less formal and certainly a lot less analytical because their angle is to find out if you’d be the sort of person they could work alongside. Your own angle is to feed off the empathy, and this can be a persuasive force for if they see you as a future colleague you stand a very good chance of surviving to the second round.
Once in the room, anything is doable.
You only have one chance to make a first impression, so don’t blow it. All that advice you may have had about turning up on time, dressing in the right clothes and looking them in the eye as you share the firm hand-shake is not only absolutely correct but easily followed. Unlike immaculate academic qualifications which aren’t easy to come by, everything else to do with ’employability’ is totally doable. It may be that your exam results got you through the door and if that’s the case they are now irrelevant, so don’t make it easy for the interviewer to dismiss the thought of hiring you on first impressions.
You hold all the cards, it’s up to you how you play them.
If you have done your homework and you are still nervous, ask yourself ‘why?’ Bear in mind that an actor who never fluffs his lines will almost certainly be nervous appearing on stage but there’ll be an equally-anxious parent in the audience whose butterflies will be due to a worry that not everything goes to plan. So to feel nervous might merely be due to the adrenalin coursing through your veins and that’s ‘excitement’…an entirely different force you can use to your advantage. It certainly helps to convey energy, vitality and hunger for the role, in which case tick, tick and tick.
Go easy on the interviewer
It’s safe to assume that interviewers themselves are hoping to discover the best in you, and they’re not going to do their job properly by laying traps in order to make you feel uncomfortable. If the line of questions strays towards the ‘gritty’ it’s usually because they don’t want to run the risk of being instrumental in making the wrong hire, so it’s not about you but about them. You can do a lot to make their job easier, particularly when it comes to the point where they ask you if you have any questions. So come prepared with a keen interest in knowing what it’d be like to be hired. If by this stage you can see yourself working there, the chances are good that you soon will be.