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Avoid Pre-Interview Anxiety With These Tips

A job interview is an anxiety-packed, fast-talking, sweaty-hands experience. Unfortunately, the grueling process is necessary to get a job. The best way to prepare yourself for a successful interview is to study popular interview questions and practice your answers. Knowing what to expect in an interview will help you focus and answer effectively. While it is impossible to know exactly what an interviewer will ask, there is a core group of questions that will pop up in almost every interview.

Think About Your Past

Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. So leave out the story about getting caught when you took a sick day to go to the spa. Use specific examples pointing out how your past relates to the company’s needs. Interviewers may ask you to describe a situation where you showed good leadership, to describe the most creative work-related project you’ve completed, or to describe an instance where you worked with a difficult person and how you handled it.

Your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses

Almost every interview will include this question. Don’t be afraid of saying a weakness. Don’t make a joke or avoid the question. Interviewers are looking for honesty. Use a weakness that is not directly related to the job you are interviewing for, such as a habit of sleeping late when applying for a night job. If that is too difficult, explain a weakness and the steps you are taking to correct it.

Some Questions Will Surprise You

Do your research before you enter the interview. Interviewers will ask you what you know about their company, and you should study their website so you can answer this question. They also may ask you who your favorite or worst previous supervisors are and why. Never bad mouth anyone, so turn the question around by saying your previous boss was detail-oriented but you learned so much from him.

Interview Tips for Success

  • Before the interview, make sure to check the mirror. You don’t want to worry about your hair being out of place or food in your teeth as an unnecessary distraction.
  • During the the interview, smile and show enthusiasm.
  • Engage your interviewers with confident answers, always focusing your past experiences and skills on how they will relate to the position.
  • Make plans to meet a friend for coffee after the interview. Having something to look forward to will boost your mood.

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