Have you ever been on the other side of an interview and had to interview someone? If you have you will know the secret to managing your anxiety in an interview situation.
Being on an interview panel is quite a daunting affair for many people, especially those who are relatively new to the task or who have been brought in as the “outside“ person. What do you think they are worried about?
Are they worried about asking the right questions? Are they concerned whether they will appear all knowing and important? Do they fret about whether they’ll have time to cover everything they want?
Well, yes, in a way all of these are worries they may have, but they aren’t the primary concerns. There is much more to it than that. There is something more significant at stake.
Think about it for a moment. What is the role of the interview panel? Is it simply to ask questions? No. Is it simply to listen to answers? No. Is it simply to get the best out of the person they are interviewing? No. There is something greater than all of that.
I was talking to a friend recently who was going to be on an interview panel. When I asked him how he was feeling about doing it he said he was nervous. “How can that be?” I asked, “you’re the lucky one, you get to ask all the questions”. He said this was not the issue.
When I asked him what the problem was he said he worried about how important the panel was for the people he was interviewing. He knew that the decision he would take would impact on the lives of each and every person he interviewed, both the person he chose and those he rejected.
Worse still he knew that the decision he would make would impact on the organisation. What would happen if he made a mistake? What if he chose the wrong person? What if it wasn’t easy enough to know who was the best person? These were the issues that he worried about.
He was anxious about making the wrong decision and having to choose between the applicants when it wasn’t clear who should get the job.
And there you have it – the answer to your anxiety and the secret to your success. Your task is not just to answer the panel questions. Your job is not just to talk about yourself. Your job is to HELP the panel.
Yes, to help the panel to know you are the best person for the job. To help the panel know you are the right person to choose. To help the panel pick you.
Your job is to make it easy for the panel. Feel sorry for the panel. Assist the panel. Panels do need your help. I’ve been on them too – it is not an easy job, at all.
It is so much easier to relax when you are helping someone than worrying about yourself.
Forget all the self-doubt that is making you anxious at a job interview. Anxiety management in job interviews is easy – spend your time helping the panel.
They are the ones to feel sorry for. Realise they can be nervous too. There is so much at stake for them. Compassion for the panel I say!
How will you react to your panel at your next job interview?
Written by Rachel Green. Professional Speaker | Trainer | Job Interview Coach | Author.
Rachel provides expert job interview skills coaching around Australia. She has a proven track record of sucess and works with people at even the highest level. Self-confidence in job interviews.
She can also speak at your conference or event on: Managing anxiety: don't panic yet!
This is an inspiring speech, hilarious, practical and relevant.
Copyright Confident Woman Australia, 2010.
NB: This article is for your information only and does not constitute individual advice. It is not provided as an alternative to obtaining professional advice from an appropriately qualified practitioner.