Nerves – Are they really worth it?

Posted on: 19 October, 2015

According to over ninety percent of research done on the topic, changing jobs is second on the list of ‘life’s most stressful situations’… Really? Second?? Behind death of a loved one… and before marriage, divorce or suffering a personal injury?

We all know that the hardest part of changing jobs is getting through the selection process, suffering from ‘brain-freeze’ at a time when clear thinking and togetherness are required, can be fatal to making it across the new-job finishing line.  Whether you are a lawyer, paralegal or legal secretary, embarking on your career or have years of experience, nerves can be a problem. Help is at hand…

We always advise that you focus on the reasons that you wanted to move in the first place and what attracts you to this role: a new environment, better location, career progression or enhanced earnings. This clarifies your goals and once you have done this you can focus on what you want to achieve rather than worry about how you come across.

Secondly use these goals to plan your interview.  The interviewer you meet will have planned the interview and so should you. The basis of the interview plan is to establish what information/impression you want to convey to the interviewer and what information you want to gain. Obviously do not impose your agenda on the interview but use it a mental check list. Share information about your career or your life outside of work in response to the interviewer’s questions. Ask questions yourself to fill in the information that has not been covered, to demonstrate that you have thought about the role and/or researched the firm.

Often it is the candidates who have this focus, that achieve the best results when it comes to conquering nerves during an interview. Ultimately you are interviewing your prospective new employer as well.

Also consider the following:

  1. Create the right first impression, confident, firm handshake etc.
  2. Lots of eye contact
  3. Be able to explain why you are the right person for the job in 30 seconds
  4. Know your CV backwards
  5. Use examples you prepared earlier to demonstrate the required competencies
  6. Ask questions based on the points in your agenda to plug any information gaps

So even if you are still a bit nervous, you’ll have a clear set of objectives in the interview to remain poised and confident! For more tips, click here.