3 Steps to Help You Conquer Your Next Interview

March GovLoop Blog Post Interview Tips_3.17.15

You’ve polished your resumeapplied for jobs that interest you, and now you’re scheduled for an interview. If you’re like most people, interviews may cause some anxiety. You know that confidence plays a big role in how others perceive you, so here are a few tips from [email protected] to help you shake off your nerves and deliver a knock-out interview.

1. Plan Ahead

Plan out your interview day in advance, so that you won’t feel rushed. How will you get to the interview? How long will it take? What will you wear that makes you feel professional and confident, but also comfortable? Be sure to handle any details – like printing copies of your resume and picking up your suit from the dry cleaners – before the big day.

Doing research on the organization you’d be joining will also help you feel more confident. Learn about performance based interviews, which are commonly used for Federal Government hiring.

2. Practice Your Answers

Knowing how you will answer questions will make you feel more confident. A good answer for a performance based interview is one that describes how you’ve performed in previous jobs, delivered results, and made an impact. The Situation, Task, Action, Results method – “STAR” for short – gives you a format to do all three. If you’ve already thought through your examples using STAR, you can recall them quickly and respond without feeling put on the spot.

Once you know your answers and how to structure them, the next step is to polish your delivery. Use InterviewStream to record a video of yourself answering common interview questions. When you’ve finished, critique yourself or share with others for feedback.

3. Visualize And Breathe

If you need a little more help to shake those nerves before your interview, picture yourself delivering a successful interview. Creating vivid mental imagery will help you feel less stressed and improve your performance.

During the interview, take your time answering and try taking several deep, slow breaths while the interviewer is talking. The deep breaths helps you relax. It also gives your voice more support, which deepens your tone and increases your speaking volume, making you come across as more confident.

Want to learn more? Use this free 30-minute course on preparing for your interview to help you sharpen your skills.

Andre J. Castillo is the Program Manager for [email protected], the world’s best career development program.

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