Interview Fear: Is there such a thing as fear taking over during an interview?

It’s interview day. Sleep was just sort of OK last night. You’re not sure what to wear; you are thinking of looking your best. You are eating faster than you normally do. Driving to the interview, you are going just a tad faster than normal. Your mind is stuck on “What am I going to be asked?” You’re thinking of what happened in your last interview, the kind of people you will meet or walk by in the reception area, and how to put your best foot forward.

Yes, nerves. They can act up in many ways, they can take over who you are and disable your ability to sell who you are. Does stage fright exist? You bet it does.

Any potential interview situation brings along a degree of anxiousness and excitement. Couple that with the fact that you have been out of work for a period and the concern can grow. Let’s reduce or eliminate your concerns about an interview.

Look at it this way: you only have two things to sell in an interview, and that is (1) what you know how to do and how well you have used that knowledge and (2) who you are, those personal behavioral competencies that contribute to success at work.

Research has shown that it is the behavioral competencies that many hiring authorities find most important in making a decision to hire. However, to make them work for you, you have to know them and you must tie them to the work that you do, let them be seen as the reasons for your performance and your ability to be successful around people.

These behavioral competencies include traits such as:  adaptability; teamwork; customer service; communication, spoken and written; patience; listening; self development; personal learning. These are all involved in any sort of work situation.

On the net, there are resources that outline such competencies: www.McGillcompetencyDirectory.com and www.Harvarduniveristycomptencydictionary.com. Study all of them, and pick the 12 to 15 that you feel you can show being used as you accomplish your work. YOU MUST BE ABLE TO SELL THEM BY SHOWING THEM IN YOUR WORK—DO NOT PICK THEM BECAUSE THEY SOUND GOOD, THEY MUST BE YOU. After you have picked them go on the net and define them. This will give you information on how the researchers talk about each competency and related behaviors, and you can use this information to bring these to life during an interview.

So what do we have? We know what you know how to do, your skills, your behavioral competencies that make you who you are and how you used these in dealing with others. Now comes the practice. Yes, it is critical, as your goal is to bring your mind to the point that trigger words will prompt a factual informed response from you. Your comfort zone will be in the automatic mode and you will be able to talk about yourself in an informed, factually confident way.

Interviews are designed to learn about you. You have firmly in mind the reasons for your success, containing both know-how skills and behavioral competencies, and you have practiced to the point that you are comfortable looking at yourself in the mirror and being able to say, “I am ready.”

Fear, anxiousness, nerves are significantly reduced if not eliminated. Think about it: I know who I am; I know how to sell who I am; I want everyone to know that I play well with others; Mr. Company, I bring with me a positive impact!