A while ago, I was sent a book by a fabulous author Jane Sunley. Her book – ‘It’s never OK to kiss the interviewer … and other secrets to surviving and high fiving at work’ offers practical advice for a successful and happy working life.
In today’s blog I’m going to have a look at some of the tips she offers and (I’m quite excited about this) we’re giving away five free copies of her book!
So let’s delve in! Here are a few excerpts from her book and a few of my own thoughts on her tips for dealing with nerves at an interview!
Dealing with nerves
Nerves are normal and even the most seasoned pro will feel some apprehension. In her book Jane makes a great point about interviewers that might help to settle those nerves a little:
“Interviewers are only people. They are no better or worse than you are. They were once in your position and probably felt as unsure as you do”
She goes on to mention three things that you must do to help you prep for an interview:
1) Do your homework and prepare yourself for this challenge
2) Work through potential questions and practise in the mirror
3) Psych yourself up, breathe deeply and imagine things going really, really well.
For me the 3rd point is the most pertinent. I’m sure that most of you already research the role and prepare answers for possible questions. However, one thing that a lot of people don’t do is to visualise success.
Visualising success can help you to feel more at ease when you find yourself in a stressful situation. By doing so your brain makes a positive connection between your interview and performance. That in itself can create a physiological change in the way that your body and mind responds to the pressure, helping you to feel more comfortable and confident.
What to do when you’ve got the job – Making a great first impression
Below are 4 of Jane’s top tips for making a great first impression at work!
- Start before you begin – if you really want to make a great first impression, what’s stopping you do this before your ‘official’ first day? Show your interest and eagerness by offering to go into your new workplace for an hour or so to meet people before you start. This certainly breaks the ice and makes things easier for you on day one.
- Take notes – no matter how bright you are, there’s no way your excited brain will remember everything you learn in the first week. Taking notes will also show the person doing the explaining that you’re listening, engaged, committed and mean business – what better first impression! However don’t spend the whole time writing, learn to listen, jot down key points and maintain eye contact.
- Ask! – If you’re not sure what you should be doing, ask someone; there’s nothing worse than a new starter shuffling hesitantly or hanging around without purpose. If there is nothing specific to be doing at that time then offer to do something helpful like making the tea. Or go through your notes, reading an industry magazine, look through the website. You want to come across as willing and keen to learn.
- Be professional – now isn’t the time to start voicing opinions about things that should be done differently or expressing ‘how tired’ you are from those early morning commutes. Take a step back, watch, learn and listen. See how things are done, be friendly (but not over-familiar) and be on time! And, when the time is right, your new manager will welcome your fresh views on the organisation…
How to win a copy of Jane Sunley’s book ‘It’s never OK to kiss the interviewer’
OK, we’re going to keep this nice and simple!
Step 1) ‘Retweet’ this post or ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ it on Facebook
Step 2) Make sure you’re following me on Twitter @thecareersblog
Step 3) Wait – We’ll be announcing the 5 winners on Monday the 30th June!