Dance off the interview jitters πŸ’ƒ Literally

Do you have a job interview coming up this week? As it so happens, I have one this morning too! I also have a friend interviewing this week for an awesome agency job. Huzzah! Good news all around. 

As we get ourselves ready to meet with our potential employers, here are a few ways I get interview-ready - starting with getting as excited about it as my dog.

Before the interview...

1. Have your STAR stories ready

I put together as many STAR stories as I can, especially ones that relate to the role, in anticipation of any questions they'll have.

What are STAR stories?They are a perfect way to describe what you did, how you did it and what it meant for your employer.

They are typically used in behavioural interviews where an employer is vetting your previous experience to match what they would require you to do. These are also a sure-fire way of highlighting how awesome you are and follow this pattern:

S - Situation
T - Task
A - Action
R - Result

So for example, I've been asked "Describe a time you helped your company meet their objectives." and my answer went something like this:

One of our objectives was to acquire new prospects in the mattress industry. (Situation)

We'd do this by targeting a short-list of mattress companies in North America, through a direct-mail and digital marketing campaign. (
Task)

I created a direct-mail piece that was folded into the shape of a mattress with a call to action for prospects to visit an online landing page I designed. Once there, prospects could sign up with their email address to receive an eBook our company wrote. (
Action)

Out of 15 prospects who received the piece, two signed up - a 13.3% conversion rate. (
Result)

If you don't have any STAR stories ready yet, take a moment to come up with at least three stories, addressing the first three bullet points of the job description you're interviewing for (these are usually the most important to the company, so it's a good idea to be ready to speak to them.)

Once you've identified your stories, write them down on your phone (I keep mine in Notes) and refer to them a few times before your interview so it's on the tip of your tongue.

Being prepared with stories about your awesomeness will keep you grounded and confident.

2. Listen to your Power Song


Don't get me wrong - I still get super nervous before a job interview. Thankfully, listening to music helps calm me, so I have a Spotify playlist called 'Warpath' which is my pump-up, get ready to kill it in an interview, set of songs.

About 10 minutes before I have to go in, I blast one or two of my favourites through my headphones to get into the mood. 

3. Dance πŸ˜‚


I'm not even kidding. If you can sneak away into a bathroom or have a few seconds in an elevator, dance it out!

Dancing will help loosen you up, produce at least a small dose of endorphins (like any physical activity would) and make you feel better.

If it makes you feel silly, good - get out of your comfort zone and you may surprise yourself. 

During the interview...

4. Find some common ground with your interviewer


For example, if they're wearing a cool pair of glasses, don't be afraid to compliment them and ask where they got them. Or if they have a piece of artwork in the office that speaks to you, say so and mention why. 

I recently interviewed somewhere that was around the corner from an old restaurant I worked at, so I started by mentioning how much I loved the neighbourhood and that I worked at the restaurant years ago (my interviewer then proceeded to tell me how much she loved that place!) 

Interviewing, much like any other interaction with people, is about building a connection. 

5. Take a nice, long, deep breath.


Before you let the interviewer go into their questions, sit down and take a deep breath. In... two... three... four... out... two... three... four...

Follow it with a smile, eye contact and say "Thank you so much for having me come in today." 

I can't fully explain it (could just be practicing gratitude), but it's a good 'reset' for your mind and sets the mood for the interview.

After the interview...

5. Pat yourself on the back


You did it! You went in there, gave it your all and I am mega proud of you. This was another experience to add to your journal, another opportunity to learn how you can improve in the next one.

6. Take some notes


Once you're clear of the interview location, take a moment and write down some notes on how it went. A few questions I like to answer while they're still fresh in my mind are:

  • What did I do well?

  • What could I have done better?

  • What challenges did my interviewer mention? (This is a good one to note as it'll help you focus your energy on solving these for them.)

  • What do I like about the office and team?

7. Don't sweat it.


Now that the interview is over, all you can do is wait. Instead of agonizing about whether you'll get a call back, apply to another job; cleanse your palate.

I find the best way to avoid anxiety about one job interview, is to be working towards the next job interview πŸ˜‰ (and if I get a call back from the first one, it's a pleasant surprise!)

You've got this πŸ’ͺ


Where are you interviewing? Where would you like to interview? What is your pre-interview routine? I'd love to know. 

Wishing you an awesome week ahead. Let's dooooo this!

Richard Gawlas