Stressed out for a job interview?

Are you stressed and nervous for the upcoming job interview? Do you have millions of questions to ask of what and what not to do or say during that crucial interview? Remember: good preperation will reduce stress.

The following tips will assist and guide you to reduce your stress levels and walk into that interview room well prepared:

Employees and recruiters look for what you have to offer their company. Different companies have different needs, which they seek to meet through recruitment. Some skills and qualities employees look for are communication, leadership qualities, creativity, commitment and ambition.

Remember that employees are genuinely interested in what you have made of your opportunities in life and what skills you have gained from your work experience. Always remember that an interview is a two-way process. They want to check you out, but you should be sizing up your prospective employers too.

Be well prepared:

  • Be mentally fresh
  • Ensure that you have done research on the company
  • Ensure that you know the address and exact time of the interview
  • Have a clear understanding of what the duties of the job are
  • Be well groomed
  • Try and find out who will interview you and memorise their names
  • Take an extra copy of your CV

Here are some dos and don’ts during the interview:

  • When you greet them, look them straight in the eye and give a confident handshake
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer(s)
  • Smile - it’s contagious
  • Pay attention and listen to the questions
  • Sit up straight and don’t fidget with your hands or chew gum
  • Answer questions to the point, and speak clearly - don’t waffle
  • Exchange information - ask questions (you have the right to do so)
  • Sell your strengths and skills - remember that this is what they’re interested in
  • Don't discuss salary unless the interviewer brings it up
  • At the end of the interview, ask the interviewer what the next stage will be, for example “When can I expect to hear from you?”
  • Thank the interviewer politely for the opportunity to meet with you
  • Writing a thank you letter after the interview is another way of marketing yourself and reminding them of you

Always remember that you are a unique person. Don’t waste your time wondering about the other candidates attending the same interview. Spend your valuable energy on something constructive and positive. You have to go into the interview believing in yourself.

(Health24, updated January 2009)

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