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Conquer Interview Anxiety

Conquer Interview Anxiety
Linda Usher
President, ESG, USA

Interview anxiety is absolutely unnecessary if you take the right approach. Put some thought into what you enjoy doing, what's important to you in your career prior to the interview; have a list of well thought out questions to determine if the position is aligned with your career goals. Now you are armed to begin the interview with a list of questions that will help you identify the right company, and the right opportunity. Let's face it if you're doing the interviewing too there is far less to be nervous about. Often the person interviewing you has not been trained properly, and may be nervous about being a good interviewer. Therefore, if you are prepared to guide the interview to meet your objective the odds of success are greater.

  • If you have aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder don't be afraid to ask what the future of the opportunity is. Where can I be with this company in one year, two years, five years?
  • If you know that you are a technologist by love, with no desire to climb the corporate ladder ask if the company provides dual career paths. If so, what is the growth curve for technologists? Find out what management's expectations are for people joining their company.
  • What are the goals to be accomplished in the first three months, six months, year?
  • Is there a plan for training/supporting new employees - or is this a "think fast" environment?

If you know the expectations you can determine if it's the right environment for you. Find out what the technology goals are.

  • Is there a particular hole, or weak spot in the group, technology, or management they are looking to fill? If so, ask the question. Where do you see my skill set being of the greatest value immediately, and then in the future?
  • Is this a position created due to company growth, attrition, or reorganization?

What created the need? What are the projections for future growth? These are some examples of the many questions that can be asked, but they all must stem from two questions you must first ask yourself. What do I want from my career? What do I want from a company?

Treat interviews as opportunities to meet interesting people. If it's not the right job for you today you have still networked with professionals in your field which can have tremendous value in the future. Remember, if the company doesn't have an appropriate fit for you right now, it's okay - the same company may have the job of your dreams somewhere down the road. So always be enthusiastic about meeting new people, new companies, and seeing new opportunities. Never beat yourself up by thinking of any job interview as a failure. There is no failure in meeting fellow professionals in your field, and no failure in refining your interviewing skills. Just consider it target practice, with perks like meeting new people, seeing new technologies, and building a better network of professional acquaintances in this world.

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