A number of years ago I went for what I thought was a standard job interview for an entry-level sales role. However, on entering the room, I discovered to my shock that instead of a one-on-one interview I had prepared for, I had walked into a full-on selection centre with more than 20 candidates standing around, waiting to be called up by the recruiter. To be honest, I was a little nervous beforehand but this experience was quickly drawing me into crisis mode.

To make matters worse, across the room was a competing candidate who looked completely at ease. He had a jawline rivalling one of the Hemsworth brothers and I was sure he was one of the top contenders. Sadly I then entered the "talk yourself out of it" stage, where I started to list all the reasons why I was probably not suitable for the role. My confidence started to spiral down and all was beginning to look bleak in terms of my interview performance.

The next thing I know, the recruiter came in and called out a name. The "Adonis" then called out in reply, and the recruiter asked for his CV. As he handed it over to the recruiter, I suddenly was amazed to see his document shaking like a leaf in the wind … This guy was so nervous he was literally shaking. I am ashamed to say that, at the time, this made me feel so much better and restored some of my confidence I had talked myself out of.

Stressful process

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By the sheer nature of it, the recruitment process is one fraught with self-doubt and stress. We have to go up to complete strangers in the recruitment and HR profession (who, on many occasions are half our age), and say with a big smile on our face, "judge me stranger! Am I worthy?"

Everyone is nervous

In my experience as a career coach, I come across people who, time and again, think they are the only nervous candidate in the entire process. It's vital to remember however, that almost everyone is stressed out to some degree going for an interview. In fact if you are not a little on edge, my question would be "why"? You should be a little nervous, as this ensures your adrenaline is flowing. Having the "butterflies" oxygenates your brain, making sure we process data faster, are fully engaged in the process and are laser-focused on the outcome. This adrenaline flowing through your body ensures we are actually at our physical peak during the nerve-racking interview process.

Harness your butterflies

Next time you are sitting in the reception area waiting to meet a recruiter, embrace the butterflies and adrenaline, secure in the knowledge that they are going to work for you in the background, while you get on with the job of giving a great interview.

Contact Tom O'Neil and the team at CV.CO.NZ for a free CV or LinkedIn assessment or to be your personal career coach. Visit www.CV.CO.NZ or www.CareerCoach.nz to find out more.