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I Get Anxious Before an Interview. How Do I Relax?

Bigg Challenge
Kelly e-mailed us because she gets overly nervous about job interviews. She wants to know how to get over it before her upcoming interviews. 

Bigg Advice
It’s natural to get nervous when you interview. Here are some key things you can do to overcome your anxiety. Before the interview It boils down to self-confidence, which largely comes from preparation. There are three ways you should prepare:

Before the interview
It boils down to self-confidence, which largely comes from preparation. There are three ways you should prepare:

#1 – Research
Get information about the industry and the specific company. If they’re a public company, you’ll find a lot of information available. If not, you can still check out their web site and search the internet to see what you can learn. Also, check your local library.

Try to learn more about the person or persons with whom you’ll be talking. Once again, Google them. Also, check out social media sites like Facebook and Linked In to see what you learn.

#2 – Questions and answers
Think about the questions they might ask and prepare your answers. Reflect upon your past interviews for some clues. Also talk to friends who have interviewed recently. And if you have friends in human resources or management, get some hints from them.

As you think about how you’ll answer the questions, focus on what makes you unique. Everyone says they’re a “good people person”. Think “you” – how will hiring you benefit them? Give specific examples from your past that show what you can do.

#3 – Rehearse
Practice in front of a mirror until you’re happy with what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Also, set up a friend with flash cards so you can do some role playing.

If that friend is in human resources or management, so much the better. If you don’t know anyone like that, find a friend who’s a successful interviewee with whom to practice.

During the interview
You’re prepared and the bigg day is upon you. Now put yourself in the right frame of mind. Keep in mind that a little bit of anxiety is good – it will make you sharper.

On the show, Mary-Lynn said that a good friend of hers gave her some great advice the day before a bigg interview

Take deep breaths and believe in yourself.

Give yourself a positive affirmation as you’re walking in. You can do it – you’re fully prepared!

As the interview starts, focus only on the conversation at that moment. Don’t worry about anything from the past. Don’t try to anticipate upcoming questions. Deal with one question at a time.

And remember, it’s just a conversation. Pretend it’s a good friend and you’re telling him or her all about the work you’ve done, the work you want to do, and why you should be hired.

Finally, remember they have to sell you, too. You’re investigating a job opportunity. This may not be the right one. You’re there to learn about them and let them know how great you are! That’s all!

Thanks, Kelly. We know you’ll do great!

If you have a bigg challenge, send it our way bigginfo@biggsuccess.com,

Our bigg quote today comes from Beyonce Knowles:

“I get nervous when I don’t get nervous. If I’m
nervous, I know I’m going to have a good show.”

Turn your nervousness about nervousness upside down so when it’s show time, you’ll be a star!

Next time, we’ll look at how two great coaches built their winning teams. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Related posts

Interviewing Tips For The First-Time Manager

The Negotiating Table

The Confidence Game

The Role Of Role Playing 

(Image by slushpup, CC 2.0)

Interviewing Tips For The First-Time Manager

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Bigg Challenge
Adam just got promoted into his first management position. He has a position that needs to be filled. He would like some tips on interviewing so he makes a good hiring decision.

Bigg Advice – 4 Tips For Interviewers

#1 – Set the tone upfront.
Create an environment that will put your candidate at ease. Start off the interview by saying something like …

“I just want to chat with you today so we get to know each other better. I have some questions for you. But I also want to answer all your questions, so you know if this is the right job for you.”

#2 – Remain neutral throughout the interview.
Novice interviewers often make the mistake of making leading questions or statements. For example, let’s say you’re interviewing someone who tells you that he left his previous job because he couldn’t make it to work by 8 AM every day.

You should NOT respond, “That’s not a very good reason for leaving a job, is it?”

Because if you do, your candidate will edit his answers from that point on. You won’t uncover the real person.

Another thing you don’t want to do is sell the candidate on the job UNTIL you know you want to offer it to them. You want to explain, not sell, throughout most of the interview.

#3 – Find out what the candidate DID do rather than what the candidate WOULD do.
It’s easy to give hypothetical answers. But you’re not learning about the candidate’s ACTIONS; you’re learning about his or her INTENTIONS. It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions. It’s much harder to keep them.

#4 – Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.
Ask a question. Listen attentively. Then follow-up. Keep drilling down to learn all you can about the real person underneath the candidate.

A sample portion of an interview
On the show, George played the role of an interviewer and Mary-Lynn played the part of the interviewee to illustrate some of these concepts.

George: Why are you thinking about leaving your current job?

Mary-Lynn: I’m looking for a more positive environment.

George: A more positive environment?

Mary-Lynn: Yeah, where people want to work together and help each other be more productive.

George: And that doesn’t happen where you work now?

Mary-Lynn: No, there’s a lot of office politicking there.

George: Could you give me an example of that?

Mary-Lynn: My boss has a few favorite people. They get all the cushy assignments. All the rest of us get the leftovers.

George:
So what have you done to try to resolve that?

At this point, Mary-Lynn may describe exactly what she did. Or maybe she didn’t do anything – leaving is her answer. Isn’t it good to know she solves problems by running from them?

She may say something more about her supervisor. As you inquire about other supervisors, you may find that she has never had a supervisor she liked. If you hire her, you’ll be the next supervisor she can’t work for!

Notice that George never commented, positively or negatively, about anything. And he kept following up to learn exactly what Mary-Lynn meant.

He asked four follow-up questions – that’s what it took to learn something significant about Mary-Lynn in this role playing exercise. That’s the way it works – you have to keep following up until you’re satisfied.

Thanks, Adam for sharing your bigg challenge with us. We wish you bigg success!

Are you facing a bigg challenge? E-mail it to us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com

Our bigg quote today is by an unknown author:

“If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs.”

So take the time to hire right so you don’t waste time on the wrong hire.

Next time, we’ll discuss some simple tips to get rid of clutter and save an hour a day. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

(Image by My Boy Dodger, CC 2.0)