Why do job candidates get nervous during an interview? Dr. Tamar Chansky, the author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety, believes the brain cannot distinguish between high stake situations such as a job interview and being under the threat of attack.
The body gears up to fight or run for your life. Those uncomfortable and inconvenient reactions make sense if you are indeed being threatened with assault. For a job interview with your potential employer, especially an in-person interview, you need to be collected, cool, and calm.
Here are some tips to calm your nerves. Getting a job you really want impacts your general happiness and self-worth. The battle that goes on in the mind is the result of landing the job or not.
Getting the job means having the ability to pay bills, save money, get health insurance and be involved in an activity that interests you. Not getting the job weakens your financial position and lowers your self-worth.
Though it is fine to show your strengths and weaknesses, nervousness is the result of internal conflict. Lack of preparation for an in-person interview with your potential employer is a common culprit that also makes interviewees nervous. In most cases, the more time spent in preparation, the more confident you will be during a job interview.
Specific Preparation Activities
Those who do their research can articulate the qualifications and skills they have that align with the position. For instance, a patent agent or patent attorney should have an interest in law, registration as a patent practitioner, and a degree in an engineering or science subject — otherwise receiving a job offer is unlikely.
Let the interviewer know about the degrees you hold, your registry status, and any other qualifications you possess. Match career accomplishments with what the company is seeking. Do not embellish facts on a resume. The more truthful the information is, the easier it is to discuss past experiences.
Writing patent drafts entails writing invention descriptions in precise legal terms. This is one of the main duties of a patent attorney or patent agent. Other duties include:
- Preparing responses to patent examiner reports.
- Ensuring that deadlines for applications and renewals are met.
- Conducting proceeding litigations.
- Keeping up to date with intellectual property legal developments.
Make sure to showcase any experience in those areas. Highlight any writing, speaking, and research skills that you possess. See these as opportunities to sell yourself.
The keys to an effective interview are:
- Confidence projection
- Staying positive
- Sharing examples of workplace qualifications and skills
Speak concisely and clearly about the assets you can offer an employer. Brush up on communication skills. Advanced preparation allows you to showcase the skills that tell the interviewer you are an ideal candidate for the position.
Do Your Research
A frequent question that candidates are asked is what they know about the company. When answering questions, interject what you know about the organization. The ‘About Us’ section of a company’s website is a good place to start. The company’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages are also resources worth reading before you go to your interview.
Be prepared to use the interviewer’s name while in the interview. If you are uncertain, make a call before the meeting and inquire who will conduct the questioning. Making a personal connection and building rapport increase the chances of getting the job.
Do Not Put Off Getting Ready until the Last Minute
Have a suitable outfit for an interview chosen, cleaned, and pressed to eliminate worry about what to wear, even if given a short notice to interview. The outfit should be appropriate for a law firm, which means it should be professional, neat, and tidy.
Prepare for an interview the night before. Find a pen and notepad to take along and print extra resume copies for a portfolio. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes early for the interview. If necessary, drive to the interview location in advance so you know exactly where the meeting will be held and how long it will take to get there.
Running late suggests that you have poor time management skills. It is a sign of disrespect to the interviewer, the position, and the firm so be sure you are not late. Visit the restroom, calm your nerves, and check your attire in those few minutes before the interview.
Be well-rested and alert in preparation for the interview. Missing questions or getting distracted have an adverse effect on the interview process. Make an engaged effort to pay attention if you feel your focus drifting.
Body language often says more than the spoken word. Being properly prepared allows confidence to exude. Lean forward when addressing the interviewer. Maintain eye contact. Listen to the entire question before you answer.
Take a few seconds to regroup before responding. Use what you learned in researching the company to answer questions. Keep answers focused, to-the-point, and succinct. Point out that you are aware of some aspects of the firm and how your qualifications are an asset that matches the company’s mission.
Be familiar with the information on your resume. Know when you worked for each employer on the list. Also, have graduation dates and contact information memorized or readily available. Sometimes, interviewees are asked to fill out an application even though they submitted a resume.
Always write a thank-you as a follow-up to the interview. Reiterate your interest in the job. Include any details that may not have been presented in the interview. If the interview was conducted by more than one person, send each individual a thank-you message. Send thank you notes within 24 hours of the meeting. Emails are acceptable thank-you note formats.
Common Interview Mistakes
Do not take soda or coffee to the interview. It is unprofessional and distracting from the task at hand which is to make a good impression. Silence your cell phone. Texting during an interview is disruptive and rude. Do not make or answer calls during an interview.
The interviewer does not need to know your whole life story. Your children, spouse, or personal life are topics not to be discussed in an interview. When discussing past employment, do not put former bosses down. Prospective employers tend to side with the previous or current employer.
It’s a lot to take in, but it’s important to do your research and spend time preparing for the interview. Remember how to appropriately present yourself, act with the polite social skills, and the chances of landing the position are in your favor.