Career advice

Preparing for a job interview: keys to confidence

You applied for a job and got the interview, so why don’t you feel happy about it? Be prepared for conflicting emotions and work on your confidence, says Mandy Day-Calder.
interview

You applied for a job and got the interview, so why dont you feel happy about it? Be prepared for conflicting emotions and work on your confidence, says Mandy Day-Calder

After submitting a job application, you must of course wait to hear if you have passed the first hurdle. It can be frustrating period but theres nothing you can do to alter this outcome.

When you finally receive the letter or email inviting you to an interview its natural to feel relieved but dont be surprised if your emotions swing from elation to despair over the next few days as reality sinks in.

Part of the process, as you start to prepare for your interview, is to visualise yourself in the new post and everything it entails, from the daily

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You applied for a job and got the interview, so why don’t you feel happy about it? Be prepared for conflicting emotions and work on your confidence, says Mandy Day-Calder

interview
You need to convince yourself you have what it takes. Picture: iStock

After submitting a job application, you must of course wait to hear if you have passed the first hurdle. It can be frustrating period but there’s nothing you can do to alter this outcome.

When you finally receive the letter or email inviting you to an interview it’s natural to feel relieved – but don’t be surprised if your emotions swing from elation to despair over the next few days as reality sinks in.

Part of the process, as you start to prepare for your interview, is to visualise yourself in the new post and everything it entails, from the daily commute to all your potential new responsibilities.

Self-talk

And though you may feel excitement at the prospect of a new challenge, it’s also normal to doubt your abilities and wonder if you really can do it. Remember that being short-listed for the post means that you have the necessary skills and experience. The interview is an opportunity to demonstrate that you are the right person for the job.

From this moment onwards, you should channel your energy and weed out the negative self-talk. If this job means something to you it is worth working hard to prepare for the interview – but don’t focus solely on impressing the interview panel. First, you must convince yourself that you have everything it takes to excel in the role.

Preparation

You will usually be given a week or two’s notice before your interview. Try to use this time as wisely as you can.

  • Check the facts: knowing what is expected of you will help you prepare appropriately. For example, will it be a competence or values-based interview? If you are unsure contact the HR department. 
  • Research the organisation: pay attention not only to who they are and what they do but also to their values. What are they looking for in their staff, and how can you demonstrate that you have these qualities?
  • Investigate the role: is there anyone you can speak to who is currently doing a similar job? Or can you schedule an informal visit?
  • Prepare mentally: though it may sound like a cliché, consciously focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t. Also think about how you have positively tackled challenges in the past – what helped, and what did you learn from it?
  • Work out the logistics: don’t leave things until the last minute. Plan what you will wear and how you will get there.
  • Watch your stress levels: practice what works for you and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Take time for yourself: it’s going to be a busy few weeks so try to schedule in some down time and balance the hard work with some fun.

Mandy Day-Calder is a freelance writer and health/life coach

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