Interviewing for a new role can induce anxiety even in experienced professionals. However, proper preparation can help build confidence and allow your skills to shine. Follow these techniques based on a career podcast, “Conquering Interview Anxiety,” to enter job interviews feeling ready to succeed.
Research the Company and Role
Thorough company and role research enables you to tailor responses and ask informed questions. Use sources like the company website, profiles of employees on LinkedIn, press releases, news articles, Glassdoor, and job boards.
Key areas to research:
- Company mission, values, goals, culture
- Organizational history and achievements
- Leadership bios
- Major products/services and customers
- Recent news and initiatives
- Challenges company is facing
- Industry trends
For the role itself, carefully analyze the job description. Note must-have qualifications and responsibilities. Use LinkedIn to find people in similar positions and see their credentials and career paths. Identify the skills you should highlight. Research common interview questions for that type of position.
Develop Your Personal Mantra
In addition to researching the company, you need to reflect on yourself. As leadership coach Joel explains, identifying your “mantra” can build self-confidence. Your mantra is an uplifting statement about your core strengths and passions.
To develop your mantra:
- Identify what energizes you and aligns with your values
- Reflect on how you positively impact others
- Consider your key skills and motivations
- Extract common themes to create a succinct, cohesive statement
For example: “I am driven to empower others to reach their full potential through compassionate guidance and development.”
Keep revisiting and refining your mantra until it authentically captures your spirit. This self-awareness provides a foundation to discuss your background with passion and confidence. You can explain how opportunities have allowed you to live your mantra.
Craft Compelling STAR Stories
Behavioral interview questions like “Tell me about a time you overcame a challenge” are common. The STAR method provides a proven framework for impactful responses.
- Situation – The context and your role
- Task – What needed to be achieved
- Action – The steps you personally took
- Result – The outcomes and your contributions
Well-prepared STAR stories showcase relevant skills for the target role. Identify 5-10 experiences you can draw from. Use the job description to determine desired competencies like leadership, communication, analytical thinking, etc. Reflect on your background for matching stories.
Analyze gaps between your experiences and role requirements. Identify transferable skills from other contexts. For example, event planning could demonstrate project management strengths.
Choose stories with specific details and metrics. Quantify obstacles overcome and results achieved. Practice telling them conversationally until you can summarize each effectively in just 2-3 minutes.
Prepare Smart Questions
Smart questions for your interviewers demonstrate engagement and interest. They also help you determine fit.
Aim for 2-4 well-thought-out questions like:
- How would you describe the culture here? What type of employee tends to thrive?
- What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this role?
- What are you hoping this new hire will achieve in their first 3-6 months?
- What challenges is the team currently facing? How could I help with those in this role?
- What are some of the key skills or experiences you see as most important for success in this position?
You can also ask about next steps in the hiring process. Finally, consider asking if they have any reservations based on your discussion. This shows confidence and allows you to address concerns directly.
Conduct Practice Interviews
Practice builds fluency and poise. Schedule mock video interviews with a friend in HR or a mentor. Treat them like real sessions. The more you practice fielding questions and summarizing STAR stories, the more natural it will become.
Ask for candid feedback on areas like:
- How well you explained relevant experiences
- Usage of filler words
- How you could have answered more clearly or concisely
- Strong points to emphasize
- Body language and enthusiasm
- Overall confidence and rapport
Recording practice interviews allows you to see where improvements are needed. You can fine-tune examples to be energetic and concise.
Preparation Breeds Confidence
With the right mindset and thorough preparation, you can tackle job interviews with less anxiety and deliver responses with passion and poise. Showcase how your unique value aligns with the company’s needs. Demonstrate the right skills through vivid examples. Stay authentic. This advice will help you put your best foot forward with confidence.