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How to Beat Stage Fright in an Interview

8 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Preparing for a Job Interview

Most people have some stage fright during a job interview. You feel nervous, queasy, and afraid of stammering during the interview. Beat that stage fight just as you would for a speech or theatrical performance — with lots of rehearsal.

The trick is to first get the kinks out of your basic self-presentation by practicing. After you get your basic act down, you will, of course, polish it with new words before each interview — words you find by researching the interviewing company.

After you know your material cold — and how the skills you’re selling benefit the potential employer — the outward-looking perspective kicks in. Divert your attention to the needs of your audience. Concentrate on fulfilling the interviewer’s needs.

Here are the three critical steps you can take to deliver a compelling and poised interview performance:

  1. Polish your basic message.

    Get your skills, competencies, and other qualifications down pat. Rehearse until you’re comfortable answering questions and have practiced your basic presentation techniques.

  2. Personalize each sales pitch.

    Research each potential employer to customize your basic presentation for each job.

  3. Spotlight your audience.

    Focus on how your talents can benefit your audience. Don’t focus on yourself or worry about how imperfect you may appear.

Focus on your audience, not on yourself. Focusing on the audience is a giant step toward eliminating nervousness.

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