We all know interviews can be scary. They’re a bit like a blind date; you get dressed up, spend the day before worrying about it, and then attempt to get a complete stranger to like you. Only, when it comes to job interviews the stakes can be even higher. I’m sure everyone has experienced their own interview nightmare to rival even the worst of dates.
I, alas, am no exception. As a presenter, I’ve been to most people’s fair share of interviews. But, my worst moment came when I interviewed Daniel Craig and the two Bond girls for Skyfall. As you could imagine, the prospect of meeting three actors from the one of the biggest films of the year was exciting if not a bit daunting. Plus it was James Bond! Wanting to dress to impress, I picked out something new. So new that I hadn’t, in fact, gotten around to trying it on. Looking back, I may have been slightly ambitious about the sizing. But, not one to let something like that hold me back, in I walked and greeted Daniel Craig and his two perfect Bond girls with all the confidence I could muster; I shook their hands and sat down. My dress ripping right the way down the back was possibly the loudest sound that I’ve ever heard. In the deathly silence that followed, the ground completely failed to open up and swallow me. So, I was left with no choice but to continue with the interview as though nothing had happened and try to figure out how best to execute a moonwalk out of the room again.
What does this show? Other than you should try on your outfit before meeting British icons, that is. Well, for me, it shows that there’s very little you can do in an interview that you can’t recover from. If all else fails, remember that your potential employer has already seen your CV and wanted to meet with you; you’re already over the first hurdle.
Practice can also help you avoid unexpected pitfalls. Get a friend or family member to interview or take an online mock interview like the one on the LifeSkills website. This will help you plan for potential questions so in the interview your nerves will be calm giving your passion for the role a chance to shine through. It can also help to remember that an interview is a two-way process; you’re trying to show that you’re right for the role, but you should also be trying to find out if the role and company is right for you. You’re not the only one that needs to impress!
There are loads of resources out there that can help you prepare, from what to ask and when, to what to wear. That’s what sites like LifeSkills are there for. I like to make notes and take those with me to interviews. It’s a great backup in case I go completely blank and has the added bonus of making you look prepared and professional. So good luck, and try to take comfort in the fact that everything that could go wrong has already gone wrong for someone, probably me, and they got through it.