If you worry and stress about interviews, it helps to look at it from the other side of the desk. I have been an interviewer many, many times in my life and I can tell you that we’re nowhere near as frightening as you might think.
There are two things to keep in mind that will help you stave off those interview nerves. They are:
The interviewer wants you to succeed as much as you do
Most managers hate hiring. They have lots of demands on their time, and interviewing is just one more thing pulling them away from what they see as their core responsibilities.
They also hate it because it’s a chance to mess up. It’s very hard to judge people on the basis of just one meeting, and if they make the wrong choice they will pay for it down the road. This applies to HR people too.
They have lots of other things to do besides screening interviews, and a lot of other positions to fill.
So the whole process is something they’d rather get over with as quickly as possible.
This means that each interviewer is actively rooting for your success. If you are the right candidate the manager can get back to his job!
So don’t be intimidated by interviews. The interviewer doesn’t want to trip you up. In fact, she wants you to do well. Remember that when nerves start to rear their ugly heads.
An interview is not a test
Part of what makes us feel nervous about interviewing is the fact that we feel we are being tested and we will either pass or fail. We are applying for a job and we fear we may be rejected.
But you can take a lot of pressure off yourself if you think of the interview as a chance to determine whether the job is the right fit for you and a chance for the employer to do the same.
There will be lots of jobs out there that are not right for you. The hours won’t be right. The location won’t be right. The industry won’t be right. The job duties won’t suit you.
There are also many jobs that you won’t be right for. You won’t have the right skill set, or your personality won’t be a good fit for the culture, or any number of other reasons.
It isn’t a reflection on you when this happens—none of us can be a perfect match with every job or company—it just means it was not the right opportunity for you.
If you approach every interview as a chance for both parties to assess the fit, it eases the pressure greatly and makes it much more likely that you’ll make a good impression.
Good luck and happy interviewing!