I have been thinking about fears recently as I am running Tough Mudder in a few weeks time and that brand are very good at instilling fear into you, for you to make the effort to overcome them and challenge yourself. Works for some (me!) and certainly doesn’t work for others. But this sort of challenge is supposed to be fun.
When applying this theory to interviews, we all know that they can be daunting, scary and worrying – even if you are the most experienced in your field and you are the only person in the world that can do that job, you can still get nervous and fearful of the interview process. So how should you overcome your fears and ensure you nail it?
Preparation is key
A bit like exam time at school, you feel much more confident if you have prepared in advance and done your homework. At Scout we ensure every Candidate is as fully prepped as we can make them before stepping into the interview, but there is only so much we can do. Make sure you know their website and social media pages well, plus it always helps to look up the person who is interviewing you to check their background and experience. Be able to recite every aspect of your CV backwards and ensure that all your examples of the skill set you have are to the forefront of your mind, not hidden so you have to search around for answers in the actual interview.
Practice makes perfect
Particularly if you are new to the workplace and just haven’t had many interviews or if you know that you get particularly nervous when put on the spot, try to have a bit of practice before the day. If you are interviewing via Scout, we will certainly do a trial run to help you or ask someone you trust with more experience than you to ask you a few questions and critique your answers. Take it seriously though – possibly not best to ask your mate when you are down the pub!
This is often underestimated but what you wear is very important to how you feel on the day. We advise wearing something you have worn before so you know how it is going to react (ie. Sweat patches!). I think it is easier for ladies to get this wrong as there are so many clothes that need to be avoided: Nothing too tight, too short or too low. For the gentlemen, probably nothing too tight either but go a bit smarter than you would usually wear. All of Scout’s Candidates are not going for interviews at a bank and the creative industry as a rule is much more relaxed, but you still need to leave your potential employer with a good impression.
Planning your journey
I spend my life late and I hate being late (I blame my children for most of this though 😉 but it is a huge mistake to be late for an interview. Starting off on the wrong foot with the hiring manager and turning up flustered and rushed is not ideal. If you assume there is going to be traffic or a delay on the tube, take this into account before you leave. Always check the address and map out your journey the day before if you can. The amount of times people think they know where they are going and they don’t know exactly and can’t find the correct entrance always astounds me.
Finally, once you have practiced your interview technique, chosen the perfect outfit, got to the interview on time and navigated the tough questions, it is always best practice to have a few questions of your own for the interviewer. This not only shows that you have done your research but that you are interested in what they have to say. A good one to ask if you are stuck for ideas because all of your other questions have been answered is about the future of the company. You want the job, you want to be there in the future so it is a good idea to ask about their plans.
Scout are always available to help you with your interview preparation so just ask if you are needing some help conquering your fears.