The Interview Part 3 ~ What To Avoid If You’re Nervous
Nerves are part of an interview. We all suffer them. It doesn’t get any easier with the more interviews you do. (You really expected me to say it did. Right?) One way to transmit your nervousness is to use these mannerisms. Try at all costs to avoid them.
- Short answers that break the flow of the discussion. You are an author. You just wrote a fabulous novel that you’re talking about. Don’t respond to a host/hostesses questions with Yes. No. It was fun. Or something equally trite. You’ve just broken up the flow of the discussion. Instead, be animated. Smile. Answer the questions in a way that you would with a group of friends on social media. Let the responses flow with ease. This your chance to shine, and you will if your response invites related questions.
- Ensure your responses aren’t cryptic. For example, if you are asked if there’s a new book in the works. Don’t assume a mysterious expression and respond with, “Well, I’m not prepared to discuss that at this time.” People will assume you have nothing but that first book and will be turned off. Instead, you should try something like this, “Of course I have a new book in the works. It’s quite different from the first.” Then you can give a few minor details, perhaps a short plot synopsis (nothing more than three sentences please), and that you’re working day and night to bring this book together. Granted, writers are secretive when working on a book, but you can give information without giving away the important elements.
- Maintaining eye contact with your interviewer and/or the audience is important. I can’t stress this enough. Even if you hate public speaking, even if you can’t bear the thought of staring someone in the eye because it makes you sweat with nerves, you have to maintain eye contact. That gives the interview a more personal touch.
- Sometimes you’ll be at a table or in a chair with arms when you’re being interviewed. Nerves will be playing hard on you. You have to release those and find your fingers itching to do that thump, thump, thump or the nails to do the annoying tap, tap, tap. No finger drumming, please. It’s annoying and distracts everyone.
- Fidgeting is also something you should avoid. Assume a position at the interview table, or in the chair and keep it. Don’t let those nerves take over. All you’re doing is giving a bad impression to everyone watching.
- We’ve all had that moment when we’re talking and forget what we want to say. Don’t use uh… uh… uh… to fill the dead air. Instead, let the next thing you wanted to say flow out of your mouth, as if you meant to do that all along.
- The most important thing you need to do is remember to show up. Most interviewers will send a reminder of the date, place, and time. Ensure that information is written down. Don’t trust your electronic devices not to decide to take that moment to crash. If there’s an emergency that will make it impossible for you to be there, call ahead and explain why.
Are you ready to go to that interview yet? Are you practicing these things to avoid? There’s one more round in this discussion. Come on back next week to find out what it is.