Five top tips... for handling interview stress

Careers advice on mitigating the impact of stress from

Suhail Masri of
Suhail Masri of

This could either be due to stress, nervousness or the fact that they are put on the spot and don’t know the answer to the question being asked.

Suhail Masri, vice-president at Middle East careers site shares his top tips on what you can do during your interview to make sure you answer confidently to the best of your abilities:

1. Be well informed: Preparation always helps. It’s the golden rule to everything related to your job hunt. Even during the interview, knowing the job profile, the company, your own success stories and your professional achievements ensures that you appear confident. Having a prepared answer and doing multiple mock interviews before your actual interview will improve your conversational flow when talking about yourself during the actual interview.

2. Stay positive: You have to make sure you are in the right mindset when giving your interview. Be in complete control of your mind and your thoughts. Don’t let nervousness or negative thoughts get the better of you. Imagining that you are going to do your best in the interview and that it will go as planned, helps you stay focused and appear confident.

3. Be honest: During your interview, never make up information that you don’t know or you are not sure of. Most interviewers will be able to see through it. If you are perplexed at a certain question, you can pause or ask the interviewer to repeat the question so you can be surer.

If you still don’t know the answer, try explaining how you would go about finding the answer to that question or the process you would follow to solve the problem. Interviewers most often are trying to evaluate your thinking process rather than the number of answers you get right.

4. Ask intelligent questions: Asking the right questions definitely makes a good impression on the interviewer. It also makes you feel that you are in control of the interview and the dialogue happening between the two of you.

Asking questions helps establish a conversational style during the interview. Use this to engage with the interviewer as it will help them understand you better.

5. Use the company’s language: While researching the company as part of your preparation, try to gauge the language that the company uses. Find the qualities and attitudes that the company values the most. Bring up the ones that are relevant to you and the company.

According to the ‘Values, Ethics and Integrity in the MENA Workplace’ poll (June 2014), 98% believe that it is important for their company to have ethics and integrity. Showing the interviewer that you share similar values to them makes a good impression. It also adds to the number of things you can talk about during the interview.

The key to not stumbling during an interview is having things to talk about up your sleeve.

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