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Tips to alleviate interview stress

There can be very few people who claim to not find interviews stressful. Whether it’s an internal move or with a new organisation, the anticipation of, and the actual interview itself can be some of the most stressful situations an individual will experience.

As a recruitment business, Spinnaker has put thousands of candidates forward for interview and we’d like to think that we can offer some good advice when it comes to alleviating those nerves. The old adage ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is apt when it comes to interviews. If you don’t do your homework, you’ll not only feel more nervous but are more likely to be asked a question that you do not know the answer to – prompting even more stress!

Director of Recruitment Matt Cornelius tells us “Often in tightly contested hires our clients will be torn between 2 candidates who both possess the same credentials on paper. I’ve seen many examples where someone with slightly less experience has landed the position over a better qualified candidate due to being more impressive in the interview.”

Feeling relaxed on the day of the interview will help you answer the questions in a more measured way. Don’t forget, the interviewer may also be nervous and will want you to do well. Interviewers are human at the end of the day and do not want to see people fail.

David Tubb, Director of Recruitment suggests there are several things you can do prior to the interview to help get the interviewer to get the best out of you. “If you can, see if a friend or family member can role play the interview with you. This will give you the opportunity to practice questions and answers. Have a think about certain real-life examples to use. It’s fine to write things down and take them in to the interview, including questions you want to ask. The interviewer will see that you well prepared.”

Some other things to consider are not underestimating the importance of a good night’s sleep before the interview. You might also want to limit your caffeine intake before the interview itself. Plan your route so you are not late, and some people might like to try positive self-talk.

Once in the interview room when the nerves reappear don’t be afraid to take your time to answer the question or repeat the question back to the interviewer or ask for clarification on what they mean.

If you find yourself stumbling over words, then don’t be afraid to say that you are nervous. The interviewer themselves may also be a little nervous – showing humility is not a bad thing. Most people will not fault you for your nerves and will appreciate your honesty.

If you stick to the question asked, are honest, and do your research you’re sure to do well. Good luck with that interview and get in touch if you are looking for your next role in the maritime industry.

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