Selling Yourself in the InterviewYou have submitted a resume and made it through the first round of screening.  Next up…the interview.  If you are nervous, you are not alone. Most people get anxious at the thought of having to sell themselves to a stranger (or even a group of strangers).  Sweaty foreheads and rambling speech patterns do not make for the best first impression.

The way you present yourself and handle yourself in a professional setting is the only way that an employer can judge your capabilities.  So here are 8 tips to help you banish those nerves.

Before the interview:

  • Be prepared. Determine what you will wear to the interview in advance.  It may sound cliché, but a comfortable (yet professional) outfit will make you feel more “relaxed”.  In addition, get a good night’s rest and make sure you have eaten.  Nothing jangles nerves more than an empty tummy or a sugar / caffeine crash.
  • Even though you can’t predict what questions you will be asked, you can practice some of the most commonly asked questions. Work on the presentation of your answers as much as possible. This will reduce the pregnant pauses and the “uhms” and “ahs” that can occur.
  • Eliminate the unknown. There are many things that can cause stress before the interview, so try to eliminate them. The key is communication. For example, if you are not sure what to wear or if you will have a panel interview, call the HR department and ask.
  • Arrive early. Learn how to get to your interview and allow enough time so you arrive at least 15 minutes early. Take those 15 minutes to walk around, take deep breaths, and take one last glance at your appearance in the bathroom mirror

Once you are in the interview:

  • Change your mindset. Do not think about it as an interview; think of as a conversation. When you walk in…smile.  It will put the other person at ease, which will (in turn) put you at ease.
  • Think positive thoughts. Focus on what makes you great. There must have been something that the recruiter saw in you that got you this far.  Visualize yourself answering every question perfectly and impressing the heck out of the interviewer.
  • Body language. Square your shoulders and sit up straight.  If your hands shake, fold them and place them in your lap.  Ninety percent of communication is non-verbal, so focus portraying calmness.
  • Breathe and think. Take a moment to formulate your answer after you have been asked a question. This will allow you to give a well thought out answer that is more likely to impress than a long, rambling, so-very-irrelevant answer.

Just remember, when you stay calm, you exhibit confidence.  “Frazzled” equates to “unqualified” to an interviewer .  At Snelling, we can help.  We have the knowledge and the tools to help you put your best foot forward in 2015.  So locate your local Snelling office and contact us today!

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