Monday, April 27, 2015

Strategies for Overcoming Interview Nerves


An interview is only a meeting of discovery between candidate and employer to understand each other’s attributes and match the same to create a union for working together. When selecting the job you have applied for, you should ensure that you’re right for it, that you know its requirements, that your education and training back you up or that you have enough experience to work in this role. If the match is right, there should be no reason for your nervousness about the coming interview. All things being fair and equal, you should qualify for that vacancy abroad.  

But if you’re still getting the jitters, the reason could either be that your qualifications don’t really match the job profile (in which case it would be better not to get selected and later be stamped as ‘unfit’), or, that you are unable to believe that you are good enough because you are experiencing uncontrollable nervousness. You must therefore believe in your self-worth and accept that the interviewer is not out to eliminate you but to learn more about you and your knowledge, abilities, capacity for multi-cultural cooperation abroad, and your thinking process relevant to the position. Focus on developing structured answers to possible questions that you will be required to answer at the interview.

You can easily rid yourself of the jitters through the simple processes of believing that you are indeed a fitting candidate for the job.  

Oxygenate yourself with rapid breathing to get calm.
Rapid breathing calms your nerves. Then shut your eyes, empty your mind, and slowly take long deep breaths to relax completely. Analyze what is bothering you and which aspects of the job you need to focus on.  

Control your desperation.
Get a hold on your desperation as it will obstruct you in calmly directing your energies in your favor instead of against you. You are not seeking the employer’s charity but offering your skills, hard work and your contributions. Know that this job abroad is not your only option and there will be many organizations abroad who seek your services.

Reverse the interview.
Remember that the interview is a two-way transaction, both the candidate and employer evaluating each other. The option to reject the job also lies with you if your expectations are not met by the offer.


Switch from negative to positive mode.
Look at the interview as a presentation where the selectors are keen to know more about a live product (you). Therefore, you must sell yourself. If you’re rusty about your pre-job years or about what exactly you achieved in any past positions, refresh your memory and rehearse your past career starting with your last job and going backwards. Anticipate questions on yourself and play-act in front of a mirror on answering the questions confidently, in a slow determined style, sounding matter of fact and confident, always observing the selectors’ body language for cues. Face the selection board with a smile. Voice your pride in achievements and avoid repeating yourself with a long speech you make of yourself. Make your story credible and maintain eye-to-eye contact, your head held high. Don’t show nervousness by looking at your feet when you don’t have all the answers and leave it on the selector’s better judgment of your performance.

Research the company.
Get to know their core business, who owns the company, if it’s listed in the stock market, where its offices are located, etc. Study its history and reputation. Has it diversified over time and what are its current activities. Look up on their corporate culture, viz. dress code, work hours, and what type of people they hire.

Understand the position on offer.
Study the job requirements, viz. knowledge, skills and ability for the job, and see how your skills match this position, and what the critical areas are where you need to take special care. Match your skills to the role properly and you’ll feel more confident in selling yourself for that work abroad.

Don't crumble under pressure.
Expect the interviewer requiring you to recall a situation and describe the actions you had taken and the outcome you obtained. Also, don’t be caught off guard for some grilling because that will make the difference between being suddenly punched in the face or being ready to roll with the punch. If you don’t have the right answer to any question, don’t sit dumbly but ask for a simplification or say you cannot answer it, and the tension will fade instead of getting you more flustered. Take comfort in knowing that you will only be asked general questions on issues that are relevant to the role, and not about rocket science.  

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