How to calm your nerves and present yourself in the best possible light in the interview?
I always give the same advice:
Check the job description once again. Try to identify the company's needs and think about how you can align your experience. Can you assume what their questions might be?
Prepare the answers for the most common interview questions and start rehearsing. Use the STAR method. A mirror can be a good friend in this, or you can ask a family member to help you out and play the interviewer role.
Rehearse and repeat. The more the better. You will be ready once you feel fully confident in your answers.
Do a mock interview(s). If possible, find a reliable career professional who will guide you and get you ready for the interview in a short time.
Prepare for tricky questions, such as reasons for leaving the previous employer, gaps in your employment (if any), your understanding of the challenges of working in a multicultural working environment, etc.
If this job is in another country and you are ready to move, please, before the interview, read as much as possible about cultural differences and cultural norms there. The more you know, the smaller are chances to be surprised by the question or the interviewer(s) point of view – so, you avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.
If you are going to be interviewed in a language that is not your mother tongue, put additional effort into renewing your knowledge of technical terms related to your profession, and, again, practice your answers and your pronunciation a lot. They will judge your communication skills, and you cannot shine if the language is a problem.
Prepare one or two questions for the employer. Preferably, not questions about vacation, benefits, promotions, raises, employee discounts and similar. Ask about the company culture, what the interviewer likes the most about working there or how they measure successful job performance, for example.
Look professionally, no matter if it is a phone, zoom or interview in person.
If it’s an online interview, check everything twice before the interview: camera, microphone, laptop battery, your background. Make sure you are not interrupted either.
To reduce the stress before the interview, try to sleep well the night before, do not rehearse right before the interview, take a short walk, have your breakfast (lunch) or just talk with someone to distract your thoughts.
Remember, the interview is a conversation, not an interrogation, and regardless of the outcome, you will at least have another important experience under your belt.
Be confident and be yourself! Good luck! 💙