Stay calm to ace that job interview

Stay calm to ace that job interview

AMIT ASKED: How do I stay calm during a job interview and impress the interviewer by being clear and articulate?

Many years ago, I was listening to a recorded interview I had conducted - not a job interview but one for an article - during which I was beset by anxiety. Alas! I spoke more than the newsmaker.

It didn't help that the newly hired top gun of a major government agency was fresh to the idea of press interviews and was visibly guarded in his answers.

Moral of the story: treat interviews like conversations but remember - it's a big mistake to talk too much or too little.

You want to be remembered - for the right reasons - when you walk out of that door.

Everything you do and prepare for has to revolve around that single goal.

It's hard to do that if you're all stiff and scripted in your replies, which understandably can be a manifestation of frazzled nerves.

Staying calm is paramount. Most of us are at our calmest when we're doing something we know we're good at. In other words, when we're confident.

But confidence during job interviews is a tricky business.

It requires precision - more than a glob of confidence can dent your chances. After all, no one wants to hire a Mr Know-It-All.

Just the right dose of aplomb - not too much nor too little - will set the right tone in the interview.

Preparing for a job interview has never been so easy with the Internet. To avoid information overload, pick a few useful sites and write the key pointers down.

Choose 10 to 15 questions likely to be asked at your interview. Tweak the questions to suit the job you're aspiring to and answer them thoughtfully.

"Practise, practise, practise. Take time to prepare a list of possible questions, review and practise answering them out loud with a friend, partner or in front of a mirror," says Mr Josh Goh, The GMP Group's assistant director of corporate services.

Don't forget to review the job scope before the interview if you've sent your resumes to several firms.

"It's not unusual for interviewees to lose track of the job descriptions after a while," adds Mr Goh.

Listen carefully to the questions.

Take time to compose your answers. Rapid-fire responses won't earn you extra points.

You want to be remembered - for the right reasons - when you walk out of that door.

If you want a fresh take on work-related issues, write in to Senior Correspondent Anita Gabriel at anitag@sph.com.sg

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