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To ask for tips on not panicking in an interview. Urgent!

(33 Posts)
MossytheMouse Thu 29-Jun-17 13:28:03

I have an interview this evening. Am starting to panic. I am worried I will get a question I don't understand and go blank and make a fool of myself... Oh and interview will not be in my first language so if I go blank I will like make a balls the whole thing. I am out of practice in this language. Have been talking to myself out loud trying not to get tongue tied.
Any tips for staying calm and keeping focus on the interview even if I mess up one question?

AlaskanSnow Thu 29-Jun-17 13:38:43

Ask for a glass of water. Sip it everytime you want to give yourself time to think.

MossytheMouse Thu 29-Jun-17 13:43:03

Thanks! Will do that! It's been years since my last interview.

Groupie123 Thu 29-Jun-17 13:43:17

Don't sip water/use filler words. Just pause and take a deep breath to gather your thoughts then answer.

Groupie123 Thu 29-Jun-17 13:44:02

Take a notebook with you and be unafraid to refer to it. I do this all the time & always get the job.

MossytheMouse Thu 29-Jun-17 13:44:55

Really? Would referring to a notebook make me look clueless though?

Thebluedog Thu 29-Jun-17 13:46:48

Don't be afraid to ask for them to repeate the question or, if you don't understand ask them what they mean

It's also acceptable to say 'give me a moment to think about that' and take a moment to think

I do a fair bit of interviewing, and would much rather someone did that, then witter on to fill the gaps or not answer the question I've asked, because they didn't understand. I think admitting you don't understand or asking for a moment shows a level of maturity.

Groupie123 Thu 29-Jun-17 13:46:50

I'm in investment banking - all of the managers have been impressed by my 'organisation' skills.

Groupie123 Thu 29-Jun-17 13:47:26

Because apparently notebook=organised lol

Viewofhedges Thu 29-Jun-17 13:47:49

You can buy yourself time if you get a question that's difficult.
"That's a good question!" Smile. "Let me see. Well, I suppose in that instance I might.... (answer 1) or alternatively, in my experience I have also (answer 2). "

If language stumps you, you might say "Forgive me, I've got interview nerves, that word has entirely escaped me."

Keep smiling, be friendly, and remember they will be willing you on, not willing you to fail. What they want is not perfect answers, but a human being who is nice to get on with and who will fit in with their team. They already know you're great because they are interviewing you - now they want to know if they like you as a person, and people are allowed to have interview nerves.

In my last interview I completely ballsed up one question but still got the job.

Good luck! You'll be great!

CurbsideProphet Thu 29-Jun-17 13:50:07

Is it the type of job where you'll be asked standard "tell us about a time" questions? I prepare for questions about team work / working independently / an example where I would have done something differently etc as in my area of work they are always asked grin

pottered Thu 29-Jun-17 13:50:37

A little nervousness shows you want the job. I always take notes and people think I'm organised - I am not, it's just habit.

If you find yourself, like me, waffling, cut it off, pause and regroup mentally for a moment.

sashh Thu 29-Jun-17 13:53:14

Have your own 'comfort blanket' a long scarf you can touch works well.

CatWranglersAnonymous Thu 29-Jun-17 13:55:36

I agree with the previous posters who've suggested taking a sip of water or just taking a moment to gather your thoughts and ideas before you answer.

If it's an interview where you'll be asked competency-based questions (e.g. 'Can you tell me about a time when you showed X quality or X skill?'I think the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) technique can work well.

You start the answer by mentioning the situation when you showed X quality or skill, before talking about the task that you did, any specific actions you took and then finally the result of the situation.

Good luck, OP! smile

Pengweng Thu 29-Jun-17 14:25:07

You could do what i did this morning on the way to mine and fall over and rip hole in trousers and hurt knee so blood runs down leg and you have to ask for a plaster when you get there. To be honest after that anything else was a win and i was so distracted by my knee i forgot to be nervous. grin

Other than that i took in water and my notebook mostly so i had something to hold onto.

Good Luck!

MossytheMouse Thu 29-Jun-17 15:24:07

Thanks all, have a few things scribbled in a notebook to get me back on track if I go blank... will pretend to take a few notes too.... forcing some food down now and then leaving. Interview is at 4. Wish me luck!

Ps pengweng hopefully it went well for you after that!?

LastOneDancing Thu 29-Jun-17 15:31:59

It always helps me to remember that it's a two way street - the interviewer will probably be a bit nervous too, and it's your opportunity to see if the job is right for you.
It makes me feel on a more even footing!
Best if luck.

IDoDaChaCha Thu 29-Jun-17 16:23:44

Adjust how you see interviews. You're looking to find out why their job is better than one somewhere else. You're not lining up to be shot smile if the person interviewing you is more senior than you and doesn't do the job you're interviewing for, mention parts of it they won't understand but talk as if they do. It puts them on the back foot and makes you seem knowledgeable. I've done this a few times, works a treat. Be warm, friendly, fake confidence if you can. If it's a big firm ask about their employee benefit scheme, if they do team building outside work, white goods scheme, pensions, etc. Ask how long the last person held the job (if it was a perm job with high staff turnaround could indicate something you don't even want), ask if they've shortlisted candidates (I ask if my CV is in the shortlisted pile with a cheeky grin haha). Adjust your behaviour to mirror the interviewer: if theyre smiley you're smiley if they're serious you're serious but professional. Dress as well as you can. Dont fidget. Will add more if anything springs to mind.

MossytheMouse Thu 29-Jun-17 16:53:38

Thanks all. It went well. I think I won't get it though as lacking in experience.

pottered Thu 29-Jun-17 18:33:21

I had an interview over Skype today and felt the salami mossy - you never know though, depends on what the other candidates were like to some extent

pottered Thu 29-Jun-17 18:33:43

Felt the salami? Fried brain - same

Iambubbles86 Thu 29-Jun-17 18:37:37

You felt the salami over Skype! What kind of job were you interviewing for pottered ??

pottered Thu 29-Jun-17 18:52:24

A dodgy one clearly! Where's the wine? Boring IT job smile I've got 2 more interviews tomorrow for the same job with 2 other people.

Iambubbles86 Thu 29-Jun-17 19:01:52

Good luck, if you get nervous think at least you're not expected to feel the salami in those ones, that should get rid of your nerves lol wine

pottered Thu 29-Jun-17 19:41:55

love it! I shall think of salami!

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