The Secret to Confidence in Job Interviews: Practice
Sutton Full Potential Founder
A survey done by JobBuzz showed that 50% of candidates fumble during interviews. Failure to speak properly about the company and to explain their own skill sets fluently are cited as two very common problems.
But, around 60% of all job rejections occur due to poor non-verbal communication. From the absence of eye contact to looking disengaged during the interview, there are a variety of reasons why candidates are rejected.
A problem of nerves
Oftentimes, the problem occurs not because of real disinterest. Plenty of candidates genuinely want to get a job at the company they’re applying to. But the core problem is often nerves.
Many candidates tend to feel very nervous before the interview. While some of these nerves may disappear as the interview progresses, others may remain. Being nervous isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually a sign that you really care about the outcome of this interview – and by extension, care about the job.
But sometimes, the intense pressure of getting the job, combined with the fear that the interviewer may ask a question the candidate is unfamiliar with, can prevent many job applicants from doing their best at the interview.
In fact, you may find yourself so nervous that you forget to pay attention to what the interviewer is saying. This can make you seem disinterested in the interview and increase the risk of application rejection. Additionally, many candidates have failed to remember the information they have studied or fail to talk about their career/academics properly because they’re too busy worrying and thinking of upcoming questions. This is when things become problematic and need addressing.
Practice makes Progress
The best solution to dealing with nervousness is to practice. It is the absence of proper practice that makes employees nervous, which prevents them from doing their best during the interview. So, holding mock interviews helps.
A mock interview is an interview that you hold at home and which mimics (to a certain degree) the actual interview. Here, you can either work with a family member or friend to ask you questions that you think the interviewer may ask during the interview.
Practice everything to the T. Wear the dress you plan to wear on the day, so you can determine how comfortable it is and whether it fits the company requirements. This will give you sufficient time to change outfits before the actual day.
Next, make a list of the most common interview questions and prepare for each. If you want, you can write notes and study them prior to the mock interview. Then ask your friend/relative to choose questions randomly and pose them to you. Your goal should be to answer the questions as though this were the real interview. Prepare flashcards with keywords to help you remember the answers.
Ask your friend/relative to notice your body language, any tics you have, and tell you about them, so you can work on them. That way, you’ll be prepared on all counts. The more often you hold these mock interviews, the more prepared you will be.
What if you don’t have anyone to practice with?
That’s okay. Don’t worry. Just find the largest mirror you have at home, sit in front of it and practice answering the questions. Choose any question you want, look into the mirror at your reflection, and start talking. Observe your facial expressions, your body language, your confidence, and how you appear when answering the questions. Make a note of the things you need to work on and improve.
You can find numerous YouTube videos which show mock interviews, so you can see what exactly you need to do. Try mimicking those body language, facial expressions, and speech patterns. You can even record yourself with your phone, so you can look back at these videos to check how well you’re progressing.
An interview is a lot like an academic exam. The more you study and practice each day for the interview, the better it will be. Start as early as you can and make these mock interviews a consistent practice. You’ll soon find that you’re not tongue-tied when you sit in front of the actual interviewer on the big day.