Giving a good interview can mean more than just showing up at the right place at the right time, with dressy clothes and a firm handshake. You may have all of your papers ready, but you may just need some extra help. Especially if you have a great deal of anxiety, it is a good idea to prepare yourself mentally beforehand.
Interviewers are looking for confidence in not only the details of your education and work experience on your resume, but your answers and skills in the interview room. You never want to come across as arrogant, but you do want to sell yourself to that interviewer. Part of doing that successfully is taking a couple of days beforehand to psych yourself up. The best way to be confident is to believe what you are saying about yourself. There are three techniques that you can try to ready yourself for that big interview.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to prepare for anything is by doing a trial run. You will need another person for this mock trial technique. This can be anyone you know, like a family member or friend. It would be even better if this person had interviewing experience. You will sit across from this friend or family member and describe to them exactly why you are a good fit for the job. Go into great length and detail and don’t be shy about your skills and qualifications. Keep telling this other person until you believe it yourself. Afterwards, have the other person give you some feedback about when you may have sounded more arrogant than confident. You want to hit that sweet spot between wavering confidence and being too prideful. Practicing the interview will certainly psych you up and get you ready.
The words of those around you have a significant impact on how you view yourself. Naturally, hearing from others why you would be successful at this job is a great confidence booster, as long as that feedback is positive and sincere. For this support system technique, you will need someone or multiple people whom you trust and who are generally supportive (any negativity for this exercise will produce the opposite effect). Parents, significant others, and old friends are usually some of the best people to turn to for this. Once you have collected your support system, ask them to build you up and tell you why they think you are the perfect fit for the job. Tell them not to hold anything back. They can’t go overboard to psych you up for the interview. Their sincerity will help you to believe in yourself, building your confidence for the big day.
Sometimes all it takes is a mental rundown of every possibility that could occur in the interview. You may have done this when going on a first date, before a big sports game, or before a presentation. If you let it, your mind is good at picturing possible outcomes. This mental picture technique takes that image and prepares you for many unknowns. You can research standard interview questions for your field and practice how you would answer. You can research off the wall questions you may get asked and practice answering those. To psych yourself up with this technique, you’ll want to consider anything that may happen in the interview. This can ensure a reduction in nervousness and in increase in confidence.
Keep It Going
Now you’ve practiced what it will be like to talk about yourself confidently with your interviewer. You’ve had your supporters tell you why you’ll be great. You’ve visualized what the interview may hold. If you’re still having trouble holding onto that confidence, try pulling from something you are confident about. Use a compliment someone once told you or a trophy-winning moment. Keep those thoughts always in the back of your mind to keep your smile big and your confidence greater.
There is still time between the preparation techniques and the interview. During this time, it is a good idea to concentrate. When you start to get nervous again or have some spare time the day of the interview, think back to these techniques to psych yourself up again. Replay them in your mind and try not to let yourself doubt them. Don’t let your confidence waver. You know you can do this job. Now you can go tell your interviewer why.