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Dealing With Common Job Interview Dilemmas

The stress-free way to survive an interview

Unless you’re in possession of a very hefty trust fund then job interviews will be a very necessary part of your working life. Some people are a natural at them, but for most of us, it’s a nerve-racking exercise. So how can you ensure that everything goes smoothly from beginning to end? Here’s a foolproof guide to tackling common interview scenarios to ensure you hear those two magical words: you’re hired!

Scenario: You’re sh*tting your pants with nerves

Solution: Firstly take a few deep breaths. Getting a few big gulps of oxygen into your lungs is proven to bring on feelings of calm. Be sure to sit up straight in the interview will help you feel more confident and in control.

Next, think of the interview as simply a conversation between two people trying to figure out if they would like to work together. The bigger you make it in your head and think HOLY CRAP IT’S A JOB INTERVIEW the more stressed you’re likely to become.

Scenario: You kinda suck at small talk

Solution: Yes, we know small talk can be excruciating but it’s a part of job interview territory and is another way to win the hiring manager over. The best thing to do is stick to neutral territory (avoid politics and religion at all costs!) and arm yourself with research. Check out the business’ website or their social channels to see if there’s anything interesting you can enquire about. Otherwise, pay attention to your surroundings and see if there’s potential for a conversation starter such as any awards on the wall or a particularly interesting piece of art. Overall, just make sure you listen and not be thinking of what you should say next or you could miss a perfectly good topic to chat about.

Scenario: You don’t know what to wear

Solution: Research the company including their website and any social media pages to see what the culture is like. If it seems corporate then it’s best to wear a suit. However, if it’s a little more relaxed then you can probably go with smart casual. The only non-negotiable is that you have to look polished. Make sure to keep your hair neat (leave over the top hairstyles for the weekend), makeup understated and avoid any loud accessories. (Need a little extra help? We got you.)

Scenario: You get flustered when asked tough questions

Solution: The most important thing to do is to take your time when answering questions. You’re entitled to take a second to compose yourself before saying anything. The best way to combat this is to practice answering tough questions before the interview. Have someone quiz you so you can finesse your answers and practice how you’re going to say them.

Scenario: You draw a blank during the interview

Solution: Before you even step into an interview be sure to prep and prep hard. Go over your resume, research the company and practice your answers. That said, drawing a blank can and will happen sometimes and the best thing you can do is take a moment to compose yourself. Once you’ve gathered yourself say something along the lines of “I’m sorry, I was so caught up in my previous response that I seem to have lost my place. Would you mind repeating the question again?” This will help your mind get back on topic and bring an answer to mind.

You've been prepped by Katia Iervasi. 

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