Your mouth is dry, your palms feel sweaty and you’re sure the interviewer can hear your heart thumping loudly in your chest. Most people have at some point felt this way as they’ve sat down to be interviewed, but with some simple techniques, nerves can be managed.
A recent article in the Guardian Higher Education Network offers some top tips on how to shine in an academic interview. Here in the Mango office, we’ve also compiled a list of our own:
Crank up your confidence levels
Whilst there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, you need to go into an interview feeling confident in your abilities and what you have to offer. Try thinking of it as a conversation with the university you’ll be studying at rather than an interview. Remember, you’re there to figure out if it really is the right place for you; after all, you’ll be spending at least three years of your life there. What’s more, the university has arranged to meet you because they were impressed by your personal statement; they want you to do well.
Know your subject and prove you’re enthusiastic about your topic
It’s the obvious one but being prepared will help ease the tension on the day of the interview and make you feel far more confident than you otherwise would do. If you’re aware of your strengths and how they apply to your course of choice, you’ll be in a far stronger position to sell yourself.
Enthusiasm is the one thing which can really make a candidate stand out. When a potential student gets really excited about an idea and is able to offer examples on the spot, they make a really good impression.
Be on the ball
Have a relaxed evening before the day of the interview. Whatever you typically do to unwind, whether it’s a having bubble bath, making yourself comfortable on the sofa with a good book, or hitting the gym, make sure you wake up feeling refreshed the next day. Don’t forget to eat a nutritious breakfast too so that your brain is alert and ready to answer any questions the interviewer may throw at you!
Yes, it may sound cliché but imagine yourself smiling when you first shake hands with your interviewer and answering all the questions just as you’d hope. Positive visualisation is incredibly powerful and smiling releases endorphins that cheat the brain into making you feel happier.
Don’t dwell on it
When it’s all over, don’t fixate on things you wish you had or hadn’t said – as long as you gave it your best shot that’s all you need to keep in mind.
So when it comes to your next academic interview, here at Mango Marketing we’d like to wish you the best of luck!