We have all seen guides written by students and professionals alike; how to succeed in that job interview and tips to remember. There are however things that a student should remember at all costs. So I have brought you a guide: “How to survive a job interview without looking like a nervous wreck”.
1) Wearing sensible clothes. (that you feel comfortable in)
Of course it is a good idea to wear smart, sensible clothes. Any employer would take one look at a candidate who came to their interview wearing a random ensemble of clothing; or oh horror of horrors, a tracksuit. What people tend to not warn first time job seekers is to wear clothing that is smart; but you feel personally comfortable with. I am a tomboy myself; but my first job interview saw me wearing a white button down office blouse complete with a black skirt and heels. Needless to say, in my nerves I tripped twice; pulled my sleeves and ended up looking like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards. In honesty, it wasn’t my dream job, being a cold calling sales girl; but I know I probably would have felt less nervous if I hadn’t been feeling so self conscious in an outfit that I knew I stood out in.
2) Always know where you are going before hand.
It is an age old Achilles for some. You may swear blind that you know where you are going; but on something as important as a job interview; I can assure you it is a good idea to plan ahead. On my first job interview it involved me going to a town of which I had very little knowledge on; also I do not drive, so as you can imagine; had I not brought my tablet with me *which unfortunately lost it’s internet signal*, I would have ended up more lost than before. So since then I have researched the night before where I am going in order to avoid finding myself in places such as housing estates and retirement homes for jobs such as checkout assistant in Sainsburys. So my tip to you is this; Google maps is your friend, or find someone who you know who either lived or lives currently in that area to give you some advice.
3) Always print out a copy of the job description to take with you before you go to the interview.
I cannot stress this enough. I suffer from serious brain freeze when I get to interviews; so much so that even when someone asks me “What’s your full name?” I give them a blank stare. No employer can realistically expect any candidate to be able to remember every single thing from the job advertisement, but I have since found that having a copy can make a world of difference; even if it is something as simple as highlighting a few key points/words from the advert and then building your interview around them. Much like for a test, revising for an interview never hurts.
4) Eat before the interview (but make it light)
There is nothing worse than your stomach growling when you have to go for an interview; or having the opposite problem of nausea. I had to abort an interview (my second one, which came after my 1st ever one that week) due to being too nervous to eat anything and then ending up throwing up on my way there due to a migraine; so to avoid any nasty mishaps such as that in the future; I have found eating an hour or so before and eating something light; makes sure that you have something to line your stomach to avoid it grumbling in protest when you need it to the least and then make sure to have drunk just enough water to avoid feeling dehydrated.
5) Nothing bad will happen if you ask them how long it will be before you hear from them again.
Regardless of whether or not you got the job, asking this question will at least put your mind at rest; sadly a fair amount of employers do not tell prospective candidates the outcome of the interview at all, or if they do they can take many weeks; but if you do ask, there is a chance that at least you will know for sure within a couple of days; to avoid feeling afraid of “that phone call” or too scared to check your inbox, from personal experience, neither are good feelings.
6) Just be yourself.
Of course, there are certain things you have to remember; be polite; not swear; dress professionally and other such codes of conduct; but at the end of the day, employers are looking for candidates who can be themselves whilst doing a good job in the role they hope to place them in; of course it is disappointing to hear you haven’t got the job you wanted; but there will be other opportunities and at least you can be assured that you are no worse off than when you walked into the interview. Either way, good luck to all ye who read this guide and I hope that we all get a job we are happy with!