Why interviews don’t need to be scary








OK, most people don’t like interviews. It’s normal. But there are ways to overcome your fears with practical steps and positive thinking.

What are you afraid of? Commonly it’s a lack of control over the situation, or fear of the unknown, that causes interview anxiety. Catastrophising, and imagining little things that could go wrong, can also put you in the wrong frame of mind.

Yes, you could get lost on the way, trip over, spill your drink, forget something, or be unable to answer any of the questions. But you are unlikely to do all of those things – and if you even do just one of them, you’re only human, and no interview will be perfect.

And that’s the key! Both you and the interviewers are simply people, sitting down to have an open and honest conversation. You can’t control everything but there is a lot you can prepare for. With this in mind, you can start to relax. Here are our top tips to help you approach interviews with a positive mindset.

  1. Know yourself – be honest on your CV and application and you’ll be able to answer any questions about yourself.
  2. Research the company – understand its products, services and culture. Read up and get someone to test you.
  3. Plan ahead – think about the practicalities. Plan your journey to arrive in good time.
  4. Find out who’s interviewing you – put a face to the name by reading their LinkedIn profile.
  5. Visualise a positive experience – walk yourself through the interview in your mind, starting with smiling friendly faces, strong handshakes and a welcoming reception.
  6. Practise – take every opportunity to run through some example questions and answers. Use an interview simulator tool or attend a guidance appointment to practise questions.
  7. Reflect on your accomplishments – you’ve been successful at things before, it can happen again.
  8. Remember it’s a two-way interview – you are assessing them as well. You might not even want the job yet!
  9. Breathe and pause – breathing techniques can be hugely beneficial in steadying nerves.
  10. Work your nerves – stress is a natural biological response designed to help you. The adrenaline that starts pumping will fire you up – treat it as your friend!

Following these steps will take away some of the fear. Why? Because preparation leads to control. Accept that you can’t predict or control everything, but you can give yourself more confidence by being prepared.

Now get selected! From 4 to 15 February the Careers Service is running a series of events to help you with every stage of the application and selection process, including talks and workshops on how to succeed at interview. Book into one of our Selection Perfection Fortnight events now!

For more help and advice visit the Careers Service website.