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New Job Jitters: Don’t Let Your Fears Ruin Your Finances

1 February 2013 2 Comments

Being prepared for an interview can earn you money!
Young people often leave interviews feeling rather accomplished and like it went “OK” overall, but the truth of the matter is most school, college, and university based leavers have no clue when it comes to being interviewed. You would make the assumption those years of creative academic thinking and essay writing would have prepared young minds for a formal one on one interview. Sadly most people get thrown off by different interview styles, and difficult interview questions due to fear of failure and prior preparation. Having the right mindset when approaching a new job is crucial and it’s important to justify fears by having a plan for potential mistakes and whether or not they are acceptable. Exploring different interview types, such as one on one and group based interviews we will take a look at what will cost you an interview, and the little things that normally worry a lot of people but actually don’t matter to the employers.

One on one interview’s can be intimidating, and it’s understandable why, you feel like you are being judged by a higher authority, but always remember that employers cannot discriminate against hesitance so the fear of judgement should be put out of your mind. They will be there to score you based on suitability and not on how long it takes you to answer a question that’s aimed at how suitable you are for the specific role. So with suitability in mind be sure to talk formally to the interviewer and do not break this habit until the interview has finished. Do not use ‘mate’ or ‘you know?’ I cannot stress this enough, to work within a team requires discipline and if you can’t keep a formality going for more than 10 minutes you are going to stick out as someone who may be unreliable. ‘You know?’ and ‘You know what I mean?’ are terrible things to say in an interview. Firstly there’s no context to what you are saying, so be sure to add some! Changing this instead of relying on a lazy student mind sets that might have previously got you past a quick draw question from a teacher or lecturer will not work here. Use several examples and make sure they are relevant to what is being asked of you. To this end, turn up with examples of your own work: writing samples, drawings, reviews, feedback from peers, and any awards or achievements you may have attained. These are the things they want to see and know, do not leave your interviewer guessing. Providing them with context and examples will put you ahead of other leavers who may not have the advice you now have.

The hardest thing to do as a timid person al-be-it a clever one is to stand out in a crowd, even at the cost of slipping up a sentence or looking silly in front of a room full of  people is worth it if you take it in your stride, compose yourself and start over. Having the mind set to carry on after a mistake shows resolve and the ability to be calm under pressure. Both are desirable qualities to your employer. The group interview is not about speaking up and before everyone else to make sure you is being heard. Potential employers will want to hear from everyone, what they will not want to see is someone else being interrupted. To that end be sure you are considerate when someone else starts speaking. Let them finish and give them positive feedback on their ideas – this displays a quality really valued by every employer – seeing potential progression in not just your own ideas, but other candidates too. Be sure to ask a question at the end, even if you do not want too. You may feel it’s not a good question to bother someone with, but ultimately it shows you are willing to come forward and take a shot at something (it’s also incredible for boosting personal self confidence).

You may not like either type of interview, and the honest truth is that it’s tough to ever truly enjoy a job opportunity because of nerves and preconceptions. Dispelling these illusions will increase your experience gained through interviews as you will be more alert and less worried on minor issues. Equally the younger you start attending interviews the more battle hardened your mentality will become, and as a result it will feel familiar and part of your comfort zone. Here are a few personal gems that will ensure your chances on permanent employment are increased tenfold.

  • Posture is extremely important – Having suffered from a spinal condition called Scoliosis for over 10 years it’s amazing how you can view other people sitting and standing compared to your wonky self. Having now had corrective surgery people usually comment how alert and engaged I look and there are highly desirable qualities.
  • Bring examples of work that are relevant – There is little to no point bringing an article about media studies to an interview to become a history teacher. Likewise bringing several samples of writing and your ability to network with people from different backgrounds to a SEO interview will put you in a better standing to people who just turn up and answer questions.
  • Take your time – Don’t rush answers and blurt words out randomly in the hopes that a quick response will show you are ready. A well considered and thought out statement or argument will impress your potential new colleagues.

Written by one of the team members a company that looks to teach responsible loan lending techniques to its staff. Dispelling the consumer myths surrounding borrowing, and providing you the tools needed to reach financial security, is our goal!


  • KC @ genxfinance said:

    Pay attention to your surroundings. And although you might be nervous as hell, don't fidget.

  • Daniel Hilsden (author) said:

    @KC – Good one about fidgeting. It's really easy to let ones mind stray during an interview; making it appear as if you're not really interested.

    A good way to counter such nerves (particularly fidgeting) is to have something to say for every question the employer has for you. This ultimately comes down to your prior preparation and if you plan for every possible question, you'll spend more time thinking about the answers and less time fidgeting!

    This is also a great way to engage potential employers.