WorkWise Q&A: How do I overcome nervousness in interview?

09/16/2012 7:45 PM

09/16/2012 7:49 PM


Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I shake and stumble in interviews when employers ask for my qualifications and degrees.

Despite the fact that I have all of the qualifications, or at least I believe that I do, I don’t do a good job explaining how I would benefit the company.

How can I get past this and come out with confidence about my experience?


A: Dear Quaking, You won’t be if you tackle this challenge head-on.

Develop a list of qualifications for upcoming interviews. To increase power, use accomplishments (benefits achieved for an employer as a result of doing something) rather than descriptions of what you did (features). Try to think of more than five accomplishments, because not all will apply to each of the jobs you’re seeking.

Could you connect your degrees directly or indirectly to job(s) you’re seeking through a skill or skill set you’ve developed?

Memorize each of the points. Own them as events you choreographed. Ask a friend to be your interviewer. Practice when you’re at your best and worst, say, when you’re tired. You can do this!



Q: Dear Dr. Culp, One of my dreams is to work at a prestigious organization in another region. I applied for a position there but want to apply for another one, as well.

Would it be tacky to apply to different jobs at the same location?

Also, I'm visiting the city in a couple of weeks and would love the opportunity to interview with someone there. What's the best way, to walk in or call in advance to request an interview?


A: Dear Ambitious, No, it wouldn't be tacky to apply for multiple jobs. It shows you really want to work there. Keep in mind, too, that unless you’re looking for an HR job or you share the information with an interviewer, the two employers might not even know.

Call the decision-makers and arrange a time. If you can't find out who the two are, find someone above them who could tell you and might even be interested in speaking with you. If the only person you can see is in HR, ask about trends in the organization, including skills that are in greatest demand. Walk in as a last resort, focused.


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