Ever been stymied by an interview questions? My favorite is the “What is your greatest Weakness?”. That stumps everyone! All of a sudden you choke up get that deer in the headlight look on your face… you can even feel your whole body freeze. From that place of freezing you experience loss of focus, flitting from thought to thought and you start talking without realizing what your saying.
Remember when you’re nervous and anxious because you want to the interview to go well this is totally a normal response. The reason that it is important to prepare for a job interview is that it will reduce the stress of the interview because you’ll know the questions or at least the type of questions asked. The more you practice the better you’ll get.
Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
1. Overcome Freeze Response
The hiring manager just asked you a question you’re not prepared for now what. You can feel your body freeze into place…
You’re starting to lose focus…
It happens to everyone you’ll be OK try these tips to overcome the freeze response and refocus your attention so that you can answer the question without the stress.
- Focus your eyes on one spot…
This works because it looks like your contemplating your answer before speaking. Try for something behind the Hiring managers head or to the side. Avoid looking up if at all possible. The best way to do this is when you walk into the room quickly scan the area and identify something in the room that you can use to think about your answers. That way if a freeze response does happen you’ll have already practiced.
- Concentrate on your breathing
Once you’ve focused your eyes you want to slowly intake and let good a deep breath. To the hiring Manager it looks like your concentrating and it will focus your breath to not appear short or nervous. This also works great in the reception area while your waiting to be called into the office or conference room as it automatically slows your heart rate. This is why Yoga and Pilates as well as other stretching exercises make you concentrate on your breathing. Check out this article on why breath is so important in Yoga.
- Concentrate on physically touching an object
At this point if the breathing and focus isn’t working it helps to use your sense of touch to calm you. I know this may sound weird but I always wear jackets with buttons on the outside. This way if I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed I rub the buttons and it seems to restore my sense of well being.
For more information on how to control the response to freezing check out this article from Effective Mind Control.
2. They won’t hire you based on your looks
I’m sorry to say that no one is going to hire you based on your good looks unless you’re a model and even than its iffy. By practicing and walking into a job interview prepared you will display the most important aspects of any interview: Personality, Confidence, enthusiasm, positive and excellent communication skills. Hiring managers want to know how you’ll fit into their culture.
3. You’ll Know the Right Questions to Ask
Did you forget that you can ask questions too? Guess what you can! In fact it’s a must. One of the most important aspects of the job interview is asking questions that both help you know what they want and help them understand what you can offer. Asking the right questions at the right time will help you get to that second (hopefully not third) interview!
4. You’ll Exude Confidence
Most importantly the more you prepare the more confidence you’ll gain. My suggestion is never say no to an interview even if you don’t want the job it’s all good practice that you can use in the future.