Do your research and beat the interview nerves

By Nik Lemmens

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It’s absolutely normally to be nervous before an interview. Nerves not only keep you alert but it’s even been said that they force excellence, as having nerves means that you care about the interview so you try even harder to excel. However, it’s never good to be a total nervous wreck, so in order to keep nerves under control, you need to make sure that you are as confident as you can be and you do this by undergoing a lot of interview research.

Companies expect people to be nervous in an interview situation, so they will try to relax you in a number of ways, such as offering you water, tea or coffee. Make sure you accept the offer, as drinking gives you something else to focus on and you’ll find it relaxes you. Sipping a drink also gives you more time to think about the interview questions before you answer. Beating your nerves will also impress the interviewers and companies will always want to hire candidates who appear to be more confident.

What should you research?

• The Interviewer – You should know the name of your interviewer, so you can then research their background using resources like LinkedIn. If possible, you should look into their previous employment, how long they’ve been with the company and what hobbies and interests they have. It’s also worth doing a Google search on them, just in case they have done anything newsworthy, knowledge of which you might be able to use to your advantage.

• The Company – You have to make sure that you are aware of how large (or small) the company is, how many employees they have, what the company turnover and market share is, who their competitors are and what the company’s philosophy, aim and vision are. You should be able to find this out through their corporate company website, or alternatively by using other research tools like Wikipedia.

• Products & services – You must know what the company is selling and have a good idea about how successful they are at selling their products or services. It is a good idea to try and locate one of their products or find someone who has used their services, so you can get some additional information and use it in the interview.

• Customer base – You need to find out who the company is targeting as their customer base. Customers are the most important external element to a business, as without them, the business would fail, so you have to show the interviewer that you recognise this fact and have done appropriate research into their customers.

• Most recent news stories – You must always check to see if the company you are interviewing for has been in the news recently, for anything at all. This is so you don’t fall into the trap of asking anything that the interviewer would already expect you to know, can tailor your questions to fit the news stories and it also means that the interviewer can’t catch you out with their questions either.

What not to do in an interview:

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