To Overcome the Fluster

The fear of interview is real, and it is frustrating! Yet in order to chase after our dream, this is a war that we have to face, and Benny Razali has the right strategies for you to claim victory!
Benny Razali
Writer, gradmalaysia.com

Of course it would be scary, especially if it is your first ever job interview! Meeting strangers who may or may not be the one holding the key to open the door to your future should be nerve-racking. You can always predict the type of questions they might ask, but certainty is never guaranteed. And how would they behave toward your answers or questions? The simple thought of being laughed at or even just a smirk from them could jeopardise your confidence.

Granted, there are universities that prepare their graduates-to-be with career talks and on-campus interviews, but let’s be real – these preparations are not enough once you enter the world of job-seeking. Each employer has their own ways of conducting the interviews for the freshly graduated so they could pick out the best amongst the many, just like a battlefield. So arm yourselves up, soldiers, for this is war and we are here to win!  

Prepare your gears! 

Every victory comes with one percent of pure luck and 99 percent of meticulous preparation. Now, put the luck into your briefcase along with your nicely printed résumé and all the other academic documents next to your neatly pressed suit, alright? 

Don’t sabotage yourself… 

… and go get a good night's sleep! While you will probably have a hard time sleeping due to nervousness for the interview the next day, do try and persuade yourself to clock in enough rest. Lack of sleep will cost you your ability to think clearly and react quickly which will severely affect your focus during the interview.  

No coffee for the restless! 

Most people think that coffee – hot, warm or iced – helps them to stay awake and fresh early in the morning, but the cold, hard truth is caffeine causes agitation as it acts as a stimulant to your nervous system. It causes your heart to beat faster, which heightens your nervousness, and hastens the effects of cold temperatures on the body. Come on, everyone knows how cold interview rooms can be, right?  

Research, research, research! 

We can’t stress this enough, but soldiers, do your research on the company you’re interviewing for! Do more than just scrolling through their website. Get diggin’ on their products, visit their events if possible, read their corporate profile or publications where available just to get a clear picture on the nature of their business. 

No rush, Cush! 

You don’t have to answer every question as soon as you can. It is completely okay to take some time to gather your thoughts and articulate the sentences in your head. Focus in on the interviewer’s question and be as genuine as possible in responding. 

Tone down the body language 

Anxiety will always linger no matter how hard you try to hide it. If fidgeting and squirming become so bad that they get in the way of the interview, wiggling your toes or doing the tic-tac-toe on your palms could do the trick for the anxious energy to be released. Just make sure to do them in the least noticeable way, okay? 

 

As soon as your interview session is done, thank the recruiters, give them a firm handshake, and walk out from the office with your head held high. Congratulations! You have fought a great battle, but there is still one more step to this war – the waiting. Don’t over-analyse the session – did I leave them with a good first impression? Was I too nervous in there? Am I really fit for the position that I’ve applied for? Have I bombed this one? – stop. Let the one percent luck do its work. If you get the job, well done! But if you don’t, you just have to try again at another interview. Relax and look on the bright side: now that you are done with one, you would know what to expect in the next.