Landing an interview is always an exciting opportunity, but it can also present some anxiety before the big day! If it’s a job you really care about, it’s normal to feel nervous for a variety of different reasons, especially since it’s the first impression you will make on your potential employer. However, know that for every fear you may have about the interview, there are multiple ways to overcome them before you get there:
One of the cardinal sins of any interview is showing up late. In fact, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 4 in 10 employers have fired someone for being late. While employers can be understanding of issues such as faulty transportation delaying your arrival, the anxiety caused by failing to be punctual can throw you off before the interview even begins. To avoid being late, take some time before your interview to map out your route. Note how much time it takes for you to get from your origin to the office, and plan for additional travel time in the event of bad traffic or other unforeseen circumstances. Plan to get there at least 20 minutes ahead of time and scope out a location to collect yourself before heading over to the interview. After that, you should aim to be in the lobby 10 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.
Finding a balance between being professional and personal can be time-consuming and scary, but finding it is easy! An interviewer wants to know what you’re like beyond your office-self, but they also don’t need to know every minute personal detail about you. As a result, prepare a list of personal details you are and aren’t comfortable with sharing. For example, talking about your hometown or family is safe, whereas you may want to shy away from discussing more personal details.
Being poorly dressed
Hiring managers will usually give you an idea of what the company dress code is like while scheduling an interview. However, there is a chance that you may have to figure this out on your own, which can lead to a crisis of what (and what not) to wear. Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid this extra headache. To start, check out the company’s website and see if they have a section dedicated to company culture and the office environment. If that doesn’t provide you with any clues, check to see if they are on Yelp or Glassdoor. Both of these sites have a photo section which usually demonstrates what current employees are wearing to work. If you’re able to find these photos, use them as a guide and inspiration for how you should present yourself.
Forgetting resume points
Interviewers expect you to be able to recite your resume in your sleep. However, it’s not uncommon to be so nervous that you end up blanking on something you should have known. So how do you beat this potential disaster? Your best bet is to have a friend sit down and practice questions about your resume section with you. With someone to act as an interviewer, you’ll be able to prepare your responses and determine what areas you need to work on before the big day. Plus, a little constructive criticism can never hurt!