jobsearchonline

Northeastern British Columbia
INFORMATION     JOBS     CAREERS




INTERVIEWS

DEALING WITH INTERVIEW ANXIETY

  1. Treat your interview like a final exam. If you prepare well, the test will be easy.
    bullet

    Study an interview book or interview strategies on the Web.

    bullet

    Research the company and the career field well.

    bullet

    Write out answers to possible questions.

    bullet

    Students should attend an interview workshop at an Employment Assistance Service.

  2. Practice makes progress. The more you interview (including practice interviews), the more comfortable and polished you will become.

  3. Remember that everybody experiences some level of interview jitters. You are not alone.

  4. And keep in mind that the interviewer does not hold all the cards and that you are evaluating the job and the company, as well. You will not truly know if you want the job, or if you want to work for a particular organization, until you have had at least one interview and have had a chance to evaluate the pluses and minuses of this opportunity. Remember that the interview is an opportunity for you to ask questions and to find out if the "fit" is right for your skills and interests, your personality and your long-term goals.

A story to ease your interview angst

At a national conference on career counselling, one of the presenters gave a demonstration that is indelibly etched in our memories.

He called his assistant to the front of the room to participate in an interview role play. The presenter, playing the part of the interviewer, greeted his assistant by saying, "Welcome, have a seat." Seeking only the interviewee's name, he continued, "Okay, now, you are . . . ?" His assistant, in the role of the interviewee, stumbled - "Umm, uhh, I'm ... umm."

The presenter leaped up from his seat and, feigning ridicule, shouted, "You can't even remember your own name?! What a loser!" He then reached into his jacket pocket, produced a can of Silly String and showered his assistant with the the sticky substance. "What a joke! Get outta my office!"

The presenter then politely thanked his assistant and, turning to his rather shocked and amused audience, asked, "Isn't that just about the worst thing that can happen in an interview? Now, obviously, that would never happen in a real interview. But what is the worst thing that is likely to happen?"

Our responses included "being embarrassed," "being so nervous you couldn't get your thoughts across," "the interviewer reads the newspaper while you answer questions" and "losing a job that you know you are qualified for." The presenter then asked, "Okay, so what are the consequences of those events?" And the worst consequences that anybody could come up with were loss of self-esteem and not being offered the job.

The presenter then turned the tables. "What can happen to a company if a poor hiring decision is made?" he asked. The responses were much more dramatic. A really poor employee could ruin productivity, sexually harass other employees, cause accidents, make life miserable for managers, cause other employees to leave, give away company secrets to competitors, steal from the company, sue the company - in essence, create havoc and harm the company's bottom line, in some cases severely.

So here's the point of the story - if you have gotten as far as an interview, the company already believes that you probably have the skills to succeed in the job. Though they will probe for strengths and weaknesses, more often than not they want you to succeed in the interview, and they're giving you the opportunity to demonstrate that you will be an able, conscientious and motivated employee. While the company has much to lose by making a poor decision, you have everything to gain and almost nothing to lose during the interview process.

Remember:

  1. Solid preparation for each interview will ease some of your jitters.

  2. While you must focus your attention on what you have to offer the company, you are meanwhile evaluating the company to determine the right "fit" with your skills, your personality and your short- and long-term goals. You do hold some of the power in this process.

Boston College


bullet

Behavioural Interviews

bullet

Types of Interviews

bullet

Sample Questions

Behavioural Interview Questions    Traditional Interview Questions    Case Interview Questions
Education    Previous Jobs    Company / Job    Questions determining your Competence
Questions on Wages / Salaries    Personal Characteristics    Your Community Involvement

bullet

Questions You Can Ask

bullet

Questions Not to Ask


bullet

5 employer concerns

bullet

Before the interview
    
Commonly asked questions in a traditional interview
    Commonly asked questions in a behavioural interview
    Questions to Ask
    Questions Not to Ask
    References
    Dress for the Interview
    Anxiety

bullet

Researching before your interview

bullet

During the interview

bullet

After the interview
     Thank You Letters

Interviews