Job interviews are exciting. With each interview you go through, you are richer for a valuable experience. However, there is a factor that disturbs all those positive aspects of a job interview: it’s called fear and it comes in many forms.
You have that traumatic feeling inside that doesn’t allow you to be fully aware of the questions and situation in front of you. No matter how confident you are, fear has a way of taking control. Don’t worry; that doesn’t have to happen every single time.
Before you can control fear, you need to recognize it. Suppression is the worst solution to the problem. You can’t just keep saying to yourself “I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid,” until the fear goes away.
Where Is Fear Coming From?
People are usually afraid of things they don’t know. Suspense makes you uneasy, especially when it’s related to important issues about your future. Will you get this job, or are you silly for making all these efforts to look good, talk well, and leave the best possible impression? You never know… that’s exactly why job interviews are frightening.
In the continuation, you’ll find a list of the top 7 fears job hunters face when preparing for job interviews and facing interviewing situations. You’ll find different tips for overcoming each of these common fears, so you’ll prepare yourself better for the challenge. Speaking of preparation, it’s what causes most of these fears. You are aware of the fact you can’t be 100% ready for unknown situation, settings, and questions. You’re getting anxious imagining every possible scenario.
You have to be fully aware of your mental and emotional state before showing up at the interview. Try to identify and recognize the type of fear that takes over your mind, and learn how to overcome it.
1. Fear: “What will they ask? What if I give the wrong answers?”
No matter how much you prepare for the interview, you can never predict the exact questions the hiring manager is going to ask. This fear causes an underlying problem: what if your answers are completely irrelevant to the company’s policy? What if they expect you to give a very specific answer related to the policies and culture of the organization, but you don’t know what the question is about?
The solution lies in a simple realization: most interviewers ask similar questions. Get ready for the most usual types of questions, such as:
- Tell me something interesting about yourself.
- Tell me something about your interests and hobbies.
- What do you do in your free time?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What makes you a suitable candidate for this particular position?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your personality?
- What talents do you have?
- How will you contribute to the company’s benefit?
- Do you think our company could improve its products/services?
- Do you fit into this company’s culture?
Since you need to make relevant assumptions, find as much information as possible about the organization. Investigate its policies and inform yourself about past, present, and future projects. If you know someone who works in that particular organization, ask about the questions they got during the interview. Moreover, ask about the current projects and try to get insights into the office culture of that company.
2. Fear: “What if I behave strangely?
Everyone has unique behavior. Your uniqueness can be an issue when you meet an interviewer for the first time. You may be known for your jokes, but an interview is not the right time and place for most of them. However, if you try to suppress your true character, you’ll come off as stiff. What’s the right thing to do?
All you need to do is maintain proper etiquette. Humor is okay, but don’t make inappropriate jokes. You do need to be yourself, but you’ll adjust your unique behavior into the standard expectations. That doesn’t mean you’ll be boring. Read some tips and self-help books that teach you how to impress strangers.
3. Fear: “I don’t have enough experience”
You really cannot make up for the lack of experience, so you should only apply for jobs you’re a good fit for. However, even if you have the needed education and background, you may be afraid of leaving an impression that you don’t know enough.
Find someone who has a lot of experience in the position you’re aiming for. LinkedIn is a great source of such connections. Get interested in their professional biography and pay attention to the main milestones that led them there. Do you have similar experiences? Focus on them when you want to show knowledge and initiative during the interview. Make sure your resume is written well. Find inspiration for your resume improvement from online writing services, such as Australian Writings, if you need to feel more prepared and confident.
4. Fear: “What if fail to pick the right outfit?”
If you go too far with the official appeal, you’ll appear as a stiff, uninspired individual. If you show your creativity through clothes, maybe it will be too much. Many people spend days thinking of the right outfit and shopping for new items, but they still miss the point of dressing appropriately.
Find out how the people in the organization dress, and follow the pattern. If you’re uninspired, search for some ideas on the web. Polyvore is a great source of inspiration. Add a personal stamp in the form of subtle jewelry or a nice scarf. You really don’t need to buy new clothes for an interview. Go through your wardrobe and you’ll surely find something that looks nice and fits into the company’s dress code.
5. Fear: “What if I don’t get there on time? What if something prevents me?”
Maybe your car will break down, the cab will be extremely late, or you’ll simply get stuck in traffic. Maybe you’ll get sick or you’ll have to take care of your family.
Don’t attract bad circumstances by playing negative scenarios in your mind. Everything will be okay! Make sure to leave for the interview very early and get there at least half an hour before you’re expected. If something unexpected occurs and you really can’t get there on time, you will simply call with a request to reschedule the interview. If you have to do that, make sure to call at least two hours before the interview is expected to start.
6. Fear: “What if I don’t have enough to present?”
If the interviewer asks to see recommendations or a portfolio, you’ll need to present those materials. But, how do you know what they will ask for?
You’ve already submitted a resume with recommendations, but it never hurts to have them in print. Bring any certificates or documents that show you’re a good fit for the job. Never be afraid to present your skills, talents, and knowledge even if the interviewer doesn’t directly ask you about them.
7. Fear: “What if they don’t think I’m motivated enough?”
If you do your best to show the right behavior and make a great impression by talking about your skills and experience, you might appear cold and uninterested for the job. You’ll look too prepared and unspontaneous, which is never a good thing.
Show genuine interest in the organization’s mission. Smile, engage in the conversation, and ask some questions about the company. The most important thing is to listen! That will show your true interest in that position.
Remember: you can never be perfectly prepared for an interview. Where’s the fun in that? The interview is a challenge, and you should approach it that way. Keep in mind that this is the opportunity that will help you make progress in your career. You’ll do great!
About the Author
Jessica Freeman is a professional journalist and a freelance content writer from Sydney, Australia. She focuses her content writing on education, career and business topics. You can follow her on Facebook and Google+.