How to Handle Your First High-Stakes Job Interview

interview recent graduate

You have held a great job for the last few years, and now you’ve decided that it is time to take your career to the next level. However, your company hasn’t offered you a promotion, even though you feel like you’re ready to take the next step.

If your current employer isn’t doing much to advance your career growth, it might be time to consider changing companies. When you do decide to make a switch, you should try to apply for a higher position than your current level so that you can take your career to greater heights.

However, when applying to a new company, you’ll have to go through a series of job interviews. And yes, these job interviews will be different from the ones you faced earlier in your career, when you were seeking an entry-level position.

Still, there is no need to panic. While you are looking to reach a better position, employers are also looking to hire skilled candidates like you. Here are some tips to prepare you for a high-stakes job interview.

Calm Your Nerves

Before you deal with the interview questions, you need to get yourself into a peaceful mindset. Clear your head of unnecessarily worrying thoughts so that you can perform your best at the interview. Take steps to calm your nerves and banish any negative thoughts. Activity helps – this can be anything from going for a 2-mile run to sitting and performing a short prayer. Whatever you do, just make sure you feel calm before you head out for the interview.

The Stakes Aren’t So High!

It’s quite easy to blow things out of proportion when applying for a high-stakes job. But before you let your thoughts create havoc, stop and reflect for a moment.

This is just one of many job opportunities that are sure to come up over the course of your career. Of course, it goes without saying that you have to perform well at the interview and nail the job, but the results of the interview will not determine the rest of your life. So, focus solely on doing your best, and leave the rest up to the interviewers.

Just Talk Facts

Perhaps one of the best ways to take the pressure off while you’re being interviewed is to focus solely on facts related to the job description. This way, your mind can concentrate on something specific instead of being preoccupied with the fact that you’re in an interview.

Take a look at the job description and prepare a few stories to show how you fit the bill. By addressing only facts related to the job, you can get right to the point and be able to highlight your ample skills and qualifications.

Spend Some ‘Alone’ Time to Reflect

You’ve probably already cleared your mind, but it’s important to be alone in the last few minutes before the interview. During these moments, you can rehearse your introduction and mentally prepare yourself to meet with the interviewers.

Another thing you’ll want to pay attention to is your posture. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but slouching or bad posture can convey a lack of confidence to the interviewer.

Even if you aren’t feeling too confident beforehand, sit upright and smile, as this will cause your body to release the endorphins which keep you happy and alert. By making your body project some confidence, your brain will also be sharp and ready to tackle whatever is in front of you.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re handling your first high-stakes interview. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and, most importantly, be yourself during the interview. The next step of your career is within reach, now it’s up to you to nail the interview and score the position of your dreams.