Convincing a medical devices or pharma hiring manager of your competence in an interview relies heavily on confidence. After you’ve captured the attention of a recruitment team with a compelling cover letter and CV, the interview is your opportunity to seal the deal.
Unfortunately, whether you’re interacting over video or face-to-face, the pressure to make the right first impression can often feel overwhelming. It’s easy to let anxiety and nerves get in the way, particularly if you don’t consider yourself naturally confident.
The good news? There are ways to build and demonstrate your capability and the right attitude during your interview.
Here are some easy ways to get yourself on track.
1. Prepare Extensively
Confidence comes from knowing you have the answers to every question your interviewer might ask – already prepared. The more you plan for every potential outcome, the more comfortable you will feel when you step into the interview.
Start by researching the company you’re going to be interviewing with and even your hiring manager. This will make it easier to answer questions like “Why do you want to work with our company?” or “How do you think your values match the values of our business?”
Depending on the interview, you might even be able to take some notes with you. A video interview means you can easily have some crucial points about the business on your screen while talking; remember not to divert your attention from the interviewer too often.
2. Get into the Right Mindset
Part of the preparation for an upcoming interview should involve getting yourself into the correct frame of mind. If you constantly think, “I’m going to fail”, you’re more likely to make mistakes and lose your confidence.
Instead, go into the interview, visualising success.
Imagine what it would be like to be offered this job and ask yourself how you’re going to prove you deserve the opportunity in your first few weeks with the business. It will help you convey the vision you have for your future with the company.
Remind yourself why you’re such a good candidate.
- What kind of qualifications do you have?
- What have you accomplished in the past?
Making a list of the important things you’ve achieved with similar companies will often be helpful when you need to give examples of your competencies.
If negative thoughts creep into your mind, push them out with more positive talk. Don’t allow self-doubt to steal your thunder.
3. Learn Some Relaxation Techniques
If you know you’re the kind of person who gets anxious often, having some coping mechanisms in place can be helpful. Breathing is one of the most valuable tools for tackling stress.
Before going into the interview, take a moment to do some deep breathing. Breathing deeply calms the nervous system, slows your heart rate, and helps you think more rationally about anything that might make you anxious.
Taking a second to breathe before you answer a question when you’re nervous can be helpful too. It shows your interviewer that you’re taking the time to think about each question before you rush into giving a prepared answer.
If you’re particularly anxious before an interview, consider setting some time aside before the conversation where you can practice some meditation or do some exercise. Both options will help eliminate stress and put you in a better frame of mind.
4. Dress for Success
While we all attempt to avoid judging a book by its cover, human beings naturally make snap judgments about what they see. Around 33% of hiring managers know if they’ll hire someone within 90 seconds of an interview. Often dressing correctly can help to give you an edge.
Not only does dressing well and making sure you look well-groomed improve the impression you make on your hiring manager, but it also does wonders for your confidence. We all feel better when we know we look good. If you feel well-groomed and smart, your self-esteem will naturally be higher.
Whether you’re attending an interview in person or using video conferencing, make sure you dress the part. You can look at the pictures on a company’s “About Us” page to see how people normally dress if you’re unsure how formal to go.
Remember, when interviewing via video, double-check the quality of your video stream before jumping into the meeting to make sure it’s clean, clear, and well-lit.
5. Manage your Body Language
Confidence doesn’t just show through in what we say. If you want to impact your hiring manager positively, you need to hold yourself correctly. Sit up straight, and make sure you maintain an open, easy posture. Don’t cross your arms or legs, as this can make you seem reserved.
Make eye contact where possible to show you’re paying full attention to the interviewer. This means looking at your camera in a video meeting rather than your screen or desk. At the same time, make sure you smile regularly to show you’re friendly and open.
Another way to ensure you’re sending the right message with your body language is to avoid fidgeting. Don’t mess around with papers on your desk or tap at your keyboard. Fidgeting makes you look nervous or bored in the eyes of an interviewer.
Remember, an interview can be a scary prospect, and it’s a crucial part of gaining your medical devices or pharma role.