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Expert advice Career coach Angela Burke's top five tips to reduce interview nerves and bag your dream job

With the right preparation and mindset, the dread can be replaced with confidence and excitement about the reward on the other side of the interview, the job offer.


Career coach Angela Burke

Career coach Angela Burke

Career coach Angela Burke

Worried your career is in lockdown? Career coach Angela Burke can help you remove your career restrictions in the third of a four-part career series with Sundayworld.com.

With over 11 years experience working across Recruitment & Career Consulting positions along with a post graduate qualification in Career Development & Coaching, career coach Angela brings a wealth of experience and understanding of the world of work. Angela uses this insight to help people navigate their professional life in a very practical and meaningful way in alignment with their personal life.

There are no two ways about it, most people could think of a dozen situations they would prefer to face than an interview. So much time and effort goes into this one hour conversation to potentially be told you weren’t successful. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be that way.

With the right preparation and mindset, the dread can be replaced with confidence and excitement about the reward on the other side of the interview, the job offer.

Here’s five things you can do to reduce interview nerves and increase your chance of success at interview.


Angela Burke

Angela Burke

Angela Burke

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

I know, we’ve heard it all before but this saying really does ring true. Preparation is key for a successful interview for many reasons, let me show you how this plays out.

If you’ve done your due diligence it will be obvious to the employer which will earn you brownie points, you’ll feel much more comfortable answering questions so your confidence will shine through and by owning your story you will instil confidence and reassurance in the interviewer that you are the right candidate for this job. It’s a win win situation!

Get your physical environment right before going virtual.

There are so many perks that come with virtual interviewing! You’re comfortable in your own home, you avoid the commute and there’s room for sticky notes and reminders in view if needed.

There’s also some things that can go wrong if not carefully managed so let’s take a look at what can be done to avoid this. First, be sure to test the software in advance of the interview to prevent any last minute hiccups.

Second, take consideration when placing your laptop to ensure your head and shoulders are in shot and the natural light is in front of you, which will prevent any shadows. Third, be mindful of what the employer can see around you that might be distracting.

Remember, you can always change your background on the online platform. Finally, It’s worth having the phone beside you so that you can quickly dial in incase you face technological issues.

Know the job, know what to say.

I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to take the time to fully understand the job that you’re interviewing for. The more you understand the job, the more you’ll realise what’s important to the employer and therefore, what they will want to discuss at interview.

During my Online Career Workshops, I provide a step by step guide to prepare you for a successful interview and one thing people are usually surprised by is how much emphasis I put on leveraging the information provided in the job specification. You should spend some time studying the job description to really get to grips with what will be required of you in order to perform in the job and what the job will actually entail.

A lot of people don’t take advantage of the informal screening calls at the start of the recruitment process, which provide a great opportunity to take in as much information as possible about the job, the company, the culture and the hiring managers expectations.

You can then use this information to inform and focus your interview preparation.

If you don’t believe in yourself, why should the employer?

What you say is important but how you say it is even more important. While interviewing there are two key objectives at hand, first to identify whether the job and company is a fit for you and second, to reassure the employer that you’re the right candidate for their job. Your chances of achieving these objectives increase exponentially if you get the delivery right.

If you’re not owning your story and oozing self- belief, why would the employer believe you are the right candidate?

Too often we get caught up in the nerves that come with interviews and don’t spend enough time identifying and believing in our capabilities in relation to the job. I always tell those that attend my online career workshops not to be afraid to show passion and enthusiasm while interviewing, it portrays confidence and is often what will differentiate you from other candidates.

Remember, it’s down to you to show the employer why and how you’re capable of doing the job, don’t leave it up to them to figure that out.

Don’t underestimate the power of relationships.

We all want to work with people we get on with and it’s no different for those interviewing you.

Throughout the recruitment process take every opportunity to establish and build a relationship with those you’re engaging with. During the interview be sure to use eye contact, address the interviewers by name throughout and use your tone of voice to portray understanding where necessary. Try to look directly in the camera 70% of the time while using the other 30% of the time to sense check the interviewers' reactions on the screen.

Relationship building is particularly important during a virtual interview as we don’t have the opportunity to read someone's energy as we would in person. I always suggest a follow up e-mail thanking the interviewers for their time and reiterating your interest in the position as it keeps you top of mind while they may be continuing the interview process with other candidates.

I truly believe we are all stronger and more capable than we give ourselves credit for. It is for that reason that I have such faith and confidence in all my clients when they are going for that important interview having prepared appropriately.

If you want to improve your performance at interview, check out Angela’s online career workshops on theintegrativecoach.ie and @theintegrativecoach on social media.

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