Science-backed tips to help you nail your next job interview

When preparing to ace an interview, there are a few of things you must get right

You need to be smart, punctual and polite, shake hands, wait to be seated, and have all your support documents printed and accessible. Once you have taken care of these points, there are still seven things you need to do that are scientifically proven to improve your chances of success.

1. Visualise the interview

Top athletes know about the power of visualisation, envisioning the race and seeing themselves finishing ahead of the field. In sports psychology, positive imagery is used to boost self-efficacy and to make success even more desirable. Close your eyes and imagine a great interview, but beware of fantasising – you need to keep it realistic.

2. Call nervousness excitement

Everyone gets a little jittery before an interview; however, by consciously deciding to perceive nervousness as excitement, you can stay positive and fend off negative side effects such as sweating or nausea. Labelling your emotions is a mind over matter technique for controlling them.

3. Use rituals to reduce stress

Whether it is a minute of meditation, a cup of tea or listening to a certain song, rituals help to normalise unusual situations and reduce stress. Using the ritual in an unfamiliar place can act as an anchor, placing you back where you normally conduct your ritual. This may sound strange, but experts agree that it works.

4. Concentrate on the small talk

We often go into an interview ready to hit the ground running; however, when our interviewer welcomes us with a question about our journey, we sometimes stumble. Small talk is important in job interviews, as it shows your personality and that you are adaptable. Take the chance to build a little rapport before the balls start coming and you will find they become easier to hit.

5. Ask meaningful questions

People love to be asked questions, whether about themselves or their company; however, you need to keep the topics professional and remember that interviewers are cautious about becoming the party under examination. Interspersing the interview with a couple of questions of your own is a great way to keep things moving, but only ask questions that matter. Don’t ask for facts and figures that could be found on the company’s website; instead, look for follow-up questions to show you are responsive.

6. Rein in the modesty

No one likes a braggart; however, if you are at an interview, you need to get all your accomplishments out there. Men tend to be better than women at this, as they are not looking for signals of approval during their replies. If you are a modest mouse, make a list of your accomplishments and note down a few points on each to help you to get over the cringe factor.

7. Avoid over-rehearsing

Despite what we have just said, it is vital not to over-rehearse your interview. Over-rehearsing leads you into a circle of responding to questions in a way that fits your prepared answers.

Interviews can be intimidating, but with these tips you can go in better prepared; in addition, all the techniques are scientifically proven to be effective.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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