7 ways to ace your interview even when you're trembling

By Noelle Woon

We all know how nerve-wrecking interviews can be. Read on to find out how to keep your nerves at bay and ace your next interview.

We get it. Interviews can be intimidating. Meeting a complete stranger in an unfamiliar environment to convince them that you are the right person for the job sounds like a nightmare. And yet, some people can cruise into an interview and stand out without breaking a sweat! How do they do it? More importantly, how do the rest of us mortals compete against individuals who are oozing with confidence?

The good news is, being good at interviews take practice and that means it can be learned! Here are some effective tips and tricks to nail your next interview.

Dress for the job

Think of interviews as a first date. How you appear to the interviewer is going to affect the overall impression you give off. If you walk into the interview looking like a promising candidate right off the bat, you’ll be off to a good start!

While dress codes differ between companies, it’s generally better to turn up looking a little more formal than a little less. You don’t want your first interview question to be about your inappropriate attire if your interviewer happens to be in a bad mood that day. It’ll make things awkward and set a negative tone right off the bat.

Know your CV better than the back of your hand

You’ve put in time and effort to highlight your achievements and experiences, and now your CV has landed you an interview. Put in the time to study your CV and familiarise yourself with your accomplishments.

Did you highlight your effective ability to boost sales in one of your jobs years ago? Did you emphasise leadership skills you’ve acquired while managing a team for an event some time back? Think of specific experiences to elaborate on for the accomplishment you’ve highlighted to help you be more confident when you’re asked about it. It’s important to describe your experiences without constantly referring to your CV so interviewers know you’re genuine.

Study the company you’re interviewing for

It takes two to have an interview. That’s why it’s important to spend time knowing more about the company you might be working for. Ultimately, interviewers are looking for individuals who are interested in what their company is doing, and not just anybody who is willing to do the job.

With the internet, it’s not difficult to do some quick research on any company. While there’s no need to know every single detail about the organisation, it’s good to at least look at articles related to the position you’re interviewing for. Are you interviewing for the marketing role? Perhaps you could look through the company’s website, social media, or check out their LinkedIn profile to have an idea of what marketing strategies they’re currently adopting.

Welcome small talk

Small talk is part of every interview and it usually happens at the beginning. It’s important to take the opportunity and build good rapport right at the beginning. A key attribute interviewers are looking for is an individual who would fit in well with their team. Building rapport with your interviewer right from the get-go lets them know you’re someone they can easily work with.

Remember: even though it’s not an “interview question”, it doesn’t mean it’s not part of the interview.

Prepare for common questions they might ask.

There are a few common questions that come up in almost every interview:

  • Tell me a little about yourself

  • What are some of your strengths?

  • What are some of your weaknesses?

  • What do you think you’ll find most challenging working with us?

Prepare 3 to 5 strengths and weaknesses about yourself, and think about a self-introduction that will highlight the relevant skills you possess. With answers to these questions ready, you won’t be stumbling over your words during the interview.

Prepare questions you want to ask

After doing some research and looking through the job description, questions regarding the position you’re interviewing for are bound to arise. Take some time to think about questions to ask at the end of the interview because it shows that you’re genuinely interested in what the job expects of you.

That being said, if your queries have already been answered during the interview, you don’t have to force yourself to ask a question at the end. Simply explain what question you had in mind and how the interviewer had already answered that question. Be natural, it helps you exude confidence!

Go with the right mindset

When you’re going for an interview, remember to stay positive. Don’t overwhelm yourself with thoughts of self-doubt and overthink ways to impress your interviewer. An effective way to boost confidence is to tell yourself that you managed to bag an interview with this company and that means you deserve to be there.

Breathe and take a pause

When you’re nervous, it’s easy to ramble on and on. Don’t. Be comfortable with taking pauses and make yourself breathe. Rambling can take away clarity and make you unnecessarily repetitive. Remember that it’s alright to pause from time to time. You don’t need to talk constantly just to impress others and you’ll be surprised at how effective taking pauses can be.

Interviews can be intimidating, however, a change in mindset can help you overcome your fears and present yourself with confidence. Once you’ve made the necessary preparation, don’t fuss over whether you’re good enough for the job. Instead of thinking of it as a hurdle to cross, think of your interviews as opportunities!

Want to be notified when new insights are available?