I've spoken to more than 1,000 job seekers, and the majority have told me the same story of why they don't do well in the interview: "I get nervous and mess up."
Being nervous is completely normal and is a part of being human. Even after performing in front of people for decades, some of the best performers in the world still get very nervous before going on stage. There are ways to work through the nerves.
There are a number of things you can do before ever stepping foot in the interview room to calm your nerves and ensure you come off as confident.
Achieve a state of calm.
I suggest my clients do the following: On the day of the interview, as soon as you wake up, make your bed, meditate for 10-20 minutes, exercise for 15-30 minutes, listen to inspirational audio for 15-30 minutes and journal for five minutes.
Then, meditate again right before the interview. While meditating, visualize yourself successfully going through the questions and getting the offer easily.
Research reveals that visualization and meditation can increase performance by improving creativity, patience and self-awareness. They also aid in relaxation and help reduce anxiety.
Use body language to better your performance.
Studies show that when it comes to communication, it's 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% the actual words we use.
Most people think that it's all about the words and what you say, which is a huge misconception. You can increase your interview performance by using body language alone. Practice one on one with a friend to work on your tonality. Then, even if it's just an audio call, sit down or stand up with strong posture and open body language. Studies also show that dressing nicely makes you feel more confident and can improve performance, so dress to impress.
Doing Your Homework
Many of my clients have nailed interviews and received offers just by leveraging the mental aspect alone, but it's also essential that you come prepared with knowledge about the company and the role you could play.
Use your resume to sell yourself.
Always refer back to the job description when preparing your resume, and use bullet points to clearly describe the relevant points. Understanding every single detail about your previous positions lets the interviewer assess your knowledge and understanding much better. This allows you to go more in-depth when discussing the position you are applying for.
Make sure you understand the position you are applying for.
Furthermore, you must know everything about the position you are applying for. By demonstrating your knowledge of the position, you show that you understand every aspect of what is being asked of you. Knowing the details of the job description is a key point in nailing the interview. If an interviewer asks if you can accomplish a specific task, be prepared to bring up examples from your previous jobs and explain how you tackled the same or a similar responsibility.
Familiarize yourself with the company.
You should know as much as possible about the company you are applying to. Having a deep understanding of the company puts you in a position to be able to tailor your talking points to the company’s goals and show them that your goals align with theirs.
Spend time looking through their website. Learn their mission statement and research their products and culture, as well as their contributions to the industry and their reputation.
Study the interviewer(s).
Learn everything about the people you are interviewing with, and use commonality points to build a connection with them (LinkedIn is a great resource here). You want your first impression to be that you have interpersonal skills and that you do not shy away from communication. Greet the interviewer, and ask how they are and how their day has been. Make some small talk before you dive into it. Make them feel comfortable around you!
Anticipate potential interview questions.
With a little research, you can get ahead of the interviewer and think about your answers to possible questions.
First, you'll want to anticipate questions specific to the job title and company. Let’s say your position is an electrical engineering job at Qualcomm. Do a Google search for the following: “Qualcomm interview questions,” “Qualcomm electrical engineering interview questions” and “electrical engineering interview questions.” You will find a lot of articles and resources; pull some questions, and use simple bullet points for your answers.
Next, search for “general interview questions.” You will find many questions; build a list of the top 10, and answer them with simple bullet points.
In some cases, a simple bullet point may not do, and you might need to get more specific. For example, you may be asked a technical question. Be prepared to provide a detailed description of how you would solve an issue, drawing from your past experiences. If an interviewer mentions that part of the job is managing multiple projects at the same time while being able to take the reins and write some code yourself, you should mention a similar experience you had while working for your previous company and how you completed the task.
The interviewer wants to know that you are capable, but they also want you to prove it. You can do that best by preparing mentally and doing your homework beforehand.