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Maintaining Composure in an Interview
You have created a strong résumé, drafted a good cover letter and applied for a job. After all your hard work, you finally receive a call for an interview. Your first response is excitement because your hard work has paid off. Your second response is anxiety about how you are going to perform.
The essential thing to remember is to maintain your composure. Interviewers prefer candidates who appear to have it together; they want someone who is organized, graceful and confident throughout the entire process. Below are some useful tips to help you stay poised during an interview.
Things to Keep in Mind
1. The Interviewer Chose You
You must remember that you were called in for an interview because the employer saw something they liked in your résumé. They chose you among all of the other candidates. They recognize your potential, so have faith in yourself. Show them that you are what their company needs and that you can be an asset for them.
2. The Interview is Just a Conversation
Like all communication, the interview is simply about exchanging ideas and information. You are there to learn about the employer, and they are learning about you. Stay calm and confident. Do not hesitate or feel nervous, just as you wouldn’t in a conversation with your friends. The only difference between a conversation with your friends and an interview is professionalism.
3. It’s Not Just About the Employer
You are there to interview the interviewer just as much as he or she is interviewing you. It’s not just about finding out whether you are a good fit for the company, but also whether the company is a good fit for you. You will have an opportunity to ask questions, so take advantage of it. Try to gather as much information about your potential role within the company as you can.
Tips for Maintaining Composure in an Interview
1. Ask Questions
Asking questions is a good idea for a variety of reasons. Not only does it boost your confidence, but it also leaves a lasting, positive impression on the interviewer. It demonstrates your interest in the company and that you have done your homework.
2. Be Prepared for the Question, “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”
This is a clever question interviewers ask, and there is no right or wrong answer. But there are good and bad ways to answer this question. Avoid hesitating; you want to give off the impression that you are confident and have goals you are determined to reach. It is best if you prepare an answer ahead of time so you are not caught off guard during the interview. Emphasize that you see yourself still working for the company, but in a higher position; this will help demonstrate your eagerness to stay with the company long-term.
3. Think About Your Ideal Salary, but Don’t Bring It Up
The best way to handle the topic of salary is to avoid it, and definitely don’t be the first person to bring it up. If the interviewer brings it up, which they probably will, don’t give them a number right away; you want to leave some room for negotiation. Before the interview, set a salary expectation for yourself and determine how low you will be willing to go.
Not only will smiling give a positive vibe to the other person, it will also make you feel confident about yourself. If you smile and have a positive attitude, the interviewer will be more open and friendly with you. Avoid seeming closed off; the interviewer may pick up on your negativity and give you the same cold attitude.
5. Prepare in Advance
Always, always prepare in advance for an interview. Ensure that you have copies of your résumé, your portfolio, your job application and any other paperwork you might need. Being prepared will eliminate undue stress and make you feel more confident.
If you follow this advice, you will have a more successful interview. Don’t let it intimidate you; remember, it is just a conversation and an opportunity for you to determine if the company will be a good fit for you. Stay confident and do your best to keep your composure!
If you need help preparing for your next interview, or if you are interested in upgrading your technical skills to better market yourself for employment in the IT field, please feel free to contact us. We provide intense Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Cisco, Linux and Red Hat courses. We are located in Mississauga near Toronto, Milton, Hamilton, Oakville and Brampton and offer courses to students looking to change their career or improve their professional skills.