Job interviews are both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Once the initial warm glow of making it through to the interview stage wears off and the countdown to the interview is on, it can feel as if the pressure is mounting - and fast! It’s only natural to feel a bit anxious when interviewing for marketing jobs, but the problem is that when you get nervous it can be more difficult to articulate your thoughts and feelings and you may end up either rambling excessively or completely closing up.
Whether you’re preparing for a virtual video interview or one in-person, don’t let those pesky nerves get in the way of landing your dream job - here’s how to get your nerves under control and put your best foot forward…
It’s a pretty normal defence mechanism to prepare for the worst - but instead of letting your mind go into overdrive thinking of all the ways you could mess up your interview, try and focus on the positives instead. Visualise your dream interview scenario: charming the interviewer, nailing all the questions and even being offered the job before you leave the room! Visualising success doesn’t make you arrogant - scientifically speaking, your brain actually likes proving itself right and is wired up to do so. That means by psyching yourself up and getting in the mood for success you can start to make that vision a reality!
People often think that nerves are a bad thing - but that’s actually not the case. After all, if you’re nervous it shows you really care and that you truly want something. Not only that, but if you spend too much time thinking about why you shouldn’t be nervous, you’ll feel like you’re doing something wrong simply by feeling a bit anxious - and before you know it your focus will shift to your nerves rather than the interview itself. Instead, try and accept that you’re going to be nervous, recognise it and own it - so when you feel your nerves creeping up on you, just take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand. This leads us on to our next point…
Believe it or not, a small amount of nerves can actually improve your performance. It’s true - anxiety gives you a boost of adrenaline which can help motivate you to do your best. Always remember that nerves are natural and completely normal - so if your nerves do start to show, acknowledge it, make a bit of a joke about it and use it as a chance to build a rapport with the interviewer. Not only will this help you feel more relaxed, but it also means your interviewer can start to get an idea of your personality and how you’d fit in with the team. Additionally, your interviewer will also be looking out to see how you handle yourself in a difficult situation, so by overcoming your nerves to come out on top you can show them you’re capable of dealing with stressful situations on the job as well.
Without a doubt, the number one antidote to anxiety is preparation. By making sure you've done all your research and that you’re completely prepared, you can put those interview nerves to one side. Start with the basics and make sure you know who you’re meeting, where you're meeting them and when. Do a bit of research on your interviewer and their career, and you could even do a practice journey so you know the way to the interview and can allow for traffic or train delays. You should also practice interview questions too and get your family and friends to stand in and play the role of the interviewer! Basically, the more prepared you are, the less nervous you’ll feel on the day.
Research is an essential part of successful interview prep, but what will really help reduce your nerves is practising your answers beforehand. We suggest running through some possible questions and saying your answers aloud. Start off using your notes as prompts, then when you feel more comfortable you can practice without. The more familiar you are with the answers you have prepared, the less nervous you’ll feel on the day.
You can practice talking to yourself in the mirror, or alternatively get a relative, friend or partner to act as the interviewer. However, make sure the person you choose is someone who is kind, supportive, and most importantly… honest! Constructive feedback can be very useful and highlight any areas you need to work on.
Self-talk can be tricky, especially for those of us who are overly critical of ourselves. However, the language that you use to talk to yourself can impact your mindset. It’s important to change the perspective on any negative thoughts so that they are constructive rather than destructive.
Try changing your interview nerves to excitement. Avoid constantly telling yourself how worried or stressed you are about the big day. Instead, flip your perspective and focus on the excitement of having the opportunity to showcase your skills. If you want the interviewer to believe you are right for the role, first you need to believe in yourself and your abilities.
If you’ve got a case of interview jitters, you might be tempted to stay up late the night before over-preparing - and possibly tossing and turning and being unable to sleep. If you can though, try and relax and get a good night’s sleep. You could even do some yoga or meditate in the morning to get you in the right mindset and eat a good meal beforehand so you feel energised and focused. Before the interview itself, take some deep breaths to get you in the zone. Whatever you do though, don’t rely on caffeine to get you through the next day. Your adrenaline will already be racing, so caffeine is the last thing you need and will actually make your nerves worse!
Bonus tip - just STOP!
If it’s all getting too much for you and you feel as if your nerves are getting out of control, try the STOP method:
Stop what you’re doing and take some time to focus on your thoughts
Take a few deep breaths to help you calm down and take control
Observe what’s going on in your body, emotions, mind and why
Proceed with intention and with a clear mind
Basically, it’s all about slowing down, regrouping, recentering and taking control of the situation before your nerves get the better of you.
When it comes to job interviews, it’s only natural to be nervous with so much at stake. But by following the tips above, you can banish self-doubt, take control and focus all of your energy on landing that your dream marketing job! If you’re in the process of looking for your dream job and would like to find out more about the marketing jobs currently available, contact one of our expert marketing recruitment consultants today.