It's results season, and as you look forward to receiving your grades, you’re probably thinking ahead to your next step. Job hunting will be that next step for a lot of people, and that means preparing for job interviews. Even if you have years of experience, job interviews are something a lot of people dread.
The thought of sitting opposite an interviewer who’s quizzing you on your life, skills, and experience can leave many people feeling nervous. It can be even more nerve-wracking if you’re not used to doing interviews yet. To help defeat those interview nerves, here are five things about interviews that should help you feel less nervous about them.
1. The interviewer wants you to do well
Recruiting new staff is a lot of work for organisations. They have to advertise the position, sort through all the applications, arrange interviews, then spend days interviewing candidates, asking several people the same questions over and over again and being away from their desk while their workload builds up.
Most interviewers and organisations don’t want to go through the process any more often than they have to, so once you reach the interview stage, it’s highly likely they think you are a good candidate for the role and want to see you do well to make the recruiting process successful.
This should make you less nervous; they usually won’t be trying to trip you up in the interview or catch you out on wrong answers, and will want you to do well so that they can be pleased they’ve hired a good employee successfully.
2. The interviewer may be as nervous as you are
Interviews can be a cumbersome process for interviewers, with pressure on them to make the right decision and find someone who will be a good fit for the organisation. Many interviewers may also not do interviews very often, so not have as much practice with them as you might think.
The interviewer also needs to give you the best impression of the organisation you might be about to join, to make the successful candidate feel like it’s an organisation they want to join. This means they may be as nervous as you are, so relax, be friendly and put yourself and the interviewer at ease.
Also, if you do help the interviewer feel more relaxed they will be more likely to feel that you are someone they can work well with, and give you a good chance of getting the job.
3. Impress the receptionist to get the job
In every job interview, it’s a given that you need to impress the interviewers to have the best chance of getting the job. What some people also forget sometimes is that you also need to impress everyone who works at the organisation.
As soon as you enter their offices, you need to be pleasant to everyone you meet, whether that is the receptionist who first greets you, or the junior team member who shows you to the interview room. Interviewers sometimes ask other colleagues for their opinions of candidates, so even if you were excellent in the interview, if you were rude to the receptionist or anyone else, you can still lose out on the job.
4. You’re interviewing them too
Sometimes you can be so eager about a job, and want to be successful in an interview that it’s easy to forget that job interviews should be a two way process. The interviewer is interviewing you about your suitability for the role, but you should also be making sure that the job is the right fit for you.
You need to know that it is a role that you can enjoy, be successful, and develop in. To find that out, always remember to ask as many questions as possible. In most interviews you’ll usually get to ask any questions towards the end of the interview, but you can also ask before if something occurs to you.
Asking questions will help you make sure the job is right for you, and will also make you look good to the interviewer by showing that you are really interested in the role.
5. They want you to be yourself
When trying to get a job, it can be tempting to try and give the answers you think the interviewer wants to hear, or try to hide some elements of your personality. Giving good answers is essential in every job interview; however, it is also essential that you answer questions in your own way.
This will help you and the interviewer make sure that you are suited for the job, and will help you get a job that you are more likely to enjoy and be successful in.
Olivia Hill is Chief HR Officer at AAT, (Association of Accounting Technicians), the UK’s leading qualification and professional body for vocational accountants.