Know your material – Research the company. See if they have a blog, read press releases, Google the company, and do not forget to do the same if you know the name of the person you will be interviewing with. Not only will this give you questions to ask and bring up during the interview, but it will show the hiring manager you have a real interest in the company over just needing a job.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – And just in case I did not say it enough-Practice. Do mock interviews. See if a family member will ask you questions (there are tons of interview books to get these questions). Use your computer and a webcam. Go to group that works with the unemployed and see if they offer mock interviews.
- Visualize yourself at the interview – Imagine yourself at the interview. See yourself relaxed and sitting comfortably, and talking in clear concise sentences. Visualize you and the interviewer agreeing on points and just how well the interview is going. Starting out positively is a great way to go into the interview. Might as well practice this.
- Know the audience – Again this goes to the know you material and researching the company and person interviewing you. Also, see if you can find out if this is going to be a group interview or not.
- Know the room – When you meet the person you are going to meet with look around the room. If it is their office see if any personal items are there. If there is anything there that you both have an interest in that can be a way to personalize the interview process. If you are meeting outside of the place you will work. Try and get there early and get a feel of the place, especially if it is going to be noisy.
- Relax – Before going into the building ease your tension by doing some breathing exercises. The most basic is closing your eyes and do slow full deep breaths.
- Realize that you are both nervous – You might be nervous going into the interview. The person giving the interview might also be nervous. It is stressful on both parties during an interview process. Remember, they are trying to locate a great fit for the organization and you want to show that you are just that person.
- Don’t apologize – If you are nervous or a problem. Chances are they did not notice.
- Concentrate on the process – Listen to the interviewer and how they are behaving. There will be clues to how things are going during the interview. Are they asking you more questions? Are they looking more at you or at some other place? Do they ask you to elaborate on statements, or just keep asking questions? Are you daydreaming? Are you thinking more of how to answer a question then actually listening to the question being asked?
- Gain experience – As mentioned earlier, do mock interviews. Setup informational interviews with people. I also recommend joining a Toastmasters club. It is a great place to get over any fears talking in front of people, but it is also a great way to learn how to answer questions you might not have prepared yourself for.