Few experiences can be quite as stressful as a job interview. The outcome of the interview can be the difference between getting the job and hence an income, and continuing to languish in unemployment. Fortunately, a number of confidence-building exercises exist that will increase your chances of acing the interview and getting that job.
First, you need to do due diligence. You should not only study the company to which you are applying, but try to ascertain what will be expected of you in the job you are applying for. The Internet gives you tools to find things out that you need to know, but if you know someone who already works for the company, ask him or her questions. A real plus would be if you can find out information on the person who will be interviewing you.
Second, doing practice interviews would be a very good idea. Find out some sample questions and put them together on index cards. Practice answering the questions in front of a mirror and note your facial expressions. If you have a friend who has done candidate interviews, a real plus will be to have that person run you through some practice sessions and give a critique of your responses. Have some good answers prepared for some of the standard questions “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
Third, you need to scrub your social media presence of anything that might prove embarrassing. Prospective employers can and will look at your Facebook and other social media posts to see if there are any red flags. Those pictures of you dancing naked at a college party and those tweets of you venting about a previous employer need to go. You should also check back on your employment history and ascertain if anything is there that might bite you in an interview. Have some answers ready to explain that reprimand or that personality conflict, should such come up.
Fourth, on the night before or even the morning before the interview, have a relative or friend give you a pep talk. You have already decided that you are a fit for the position just by applying for it. Having someone telling you that you have the talent, experience, and education to get the job would be a real validation that you can take into the interview. Accentuate the positive and cast aside the negative.
Finally, you need to look, dress, and act the part of a serious job applicant. Wear your best interview suit, cleaned and pressed. Get your hair styled the day before and, if you have facial hair, make sure everything is trimmed and neat. Act friendly but professional. While the interview is just a conversation, it is one for a distinct purpose. Take your cues from the person interviewing you. Do not act too familiarly. Laugh at his or her jokes, but not too boisterously. Shake his or hand firmly, look him or her in the eye, and, when the interview is over, thank him or her and reiterate that you are very interested in the position and hope to hear about a decision soon.