STAR Principle to Overcome Interview Anxiety

Scenario: After waiting for quite a long time, finally you manage to get an invitation for a job interview. While you might be excited about the opportunity, you need to start preparing everything and learn well about the company’s profile. Everything seems well until the D-day. During the interview, suddenly anxiety hits you out of nowhere. In front of hiring managers, you freeze and forget everything you have prepared.

What is interview anxiety and how does it feel?

Interview anxiety is a natural and common feeling of uneasiness before or during a job interview. Being conscious that someone will scrutinise your appearance, behaviour, and words, you might start losing control of what you want to say and do. Consequently, what you intend to convey might not match with what is delivered. A survey by Harris Interactive found that 92 percent of respondents surveyed are stressed by at least one thing about a job interview, with having the jitters count as the biggest fear.

See also: It’s Face Time: How to Prepare for a Video Job Interview?

John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College, commented that interview anxiety is common at some stage. Job interview, he added, can be a high-pressure and make-or-break event when searching for a job. Thusly, it is a natural occurrence amongst job seekers.

While you might have prepared the best, when anxiety kicks in, the well-crafted words you have memorised suddenly become nonsense and you talk way too much, more than necessary information that can ruin your interview. According to a study by Julie McCarthy, applicant anxiety has serious implication as it might bias predictive validity of job interviews and result in a poor selection of less promising candidates. Having and showing your anxiety during a job interview will give you a low score which in turn, lower your chances of being hired.

Unfortunately, job interview anxiety will add a huge barrier between you and success.

Fortunately, you are not alone in this. 

So, how to mitigate the problem?

One of the most effective ways is by pretending that you are in a casual conversation while maintaining your professionalism. You can also lower the risk by being super prepared about the interview with the STAR principles. STAR principle is commonly used by an employer to prepare a better interview session. However, not just the employer, you can also reap the advantage of the STAR principle by following these tips.

S for situation

In this step, try to think about what the interview might be. You can look for videos to learn this or try to dig some information about the interview from the company’s web. Then, picture what kind of interview you will have, whether it is one on one or group. The better picture you have in mind, the lower interview anxiety you will experience.

Note: Do practice for a various situation of a job interview so that you will not be shocked by changes that might occur.

T for task

Be prepared for questions that require problem-solving. Most recruiters would ask something like “what will you do when you are faced with a tight deadline?” On this type of questions, think of a task that is similar to the problem. Then, explain to the interviewer with an example of a task and solution. You probably have encountered the same problem before. You can refer to it as an example.  

Note: Commonly, employers will refer to your resume or CV. Thusly, you should prepare with practising problem-solving question that is aligned with your resume or CV.

A for action

Employers want their candidates to be proactive and ready to take challenges. In this phase, you can take more action by explaining detailed information about what you did to achieve your goal and what actions need to be done to do so, and of course, align your explanation with company’s vision and mission. So, prepare yourself to explain that you have a good initiative to take businesses to the next level.  

R for recollected

The last strategy is by practising recollected strategy – stay calm. Anxiety kicks in because your mind, consciously or unconsciously, is too busy thinking “what if scenarios”. For instance, what if I fail, what if I ruin this interview that I’ve been waiting for, what if everything did not go as planned, or what if I forget what I practice. That being said, you might have doubt in yourself that you are capable of doing the interview.

One thing to mitigate this is by naming and reframing your self-doubt. As explained by Melody Wilding, you can name your doubt with “I have too much anxiety story” to help you realise that it is just a thought pattern and not an evil force. Hence, you can build a positive response to it.

Next, reframing your story with a plan. For example, if I ruin my answer, I will calm myself by breathing deeply. And while maintaining my calmness, I will talk slowly about the possible scenario that happens in my head. Or probably, I will joke a little bit to calm myself down.

Read also: Should You Go to an Interview for a Job You Don’t Want?

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An interview is like a trade. You show off your skills, experiences and proficiencies, ‘sell’ it to a company, and they ‘buy’ them. When you are being offered the position, your salary negotiation skill will come into place!

Other than the need to know your worth and the median salary range in the market right now, you need to be equipped with negotiation skills! Using the wrong strategies might just lead you to the path of failure. No one wants to be underpaid and learning some great negotiation skills will do you some good!

Can’t wait to negotiate? Slow down! Be a smart candidate and here are the top 5 mistakes when negotiating a salary that you have to avoid:

Lack of research

Some candidates state their expected salary without much researching. They tend to decide the salary expectation merely based on what they need or by guessing.

Do research the valid market rate for the job position! Considering the working experience, qualifications, responsibilities and the geographic area of the industry are essential, as these points will determine the standard wage you deserve. Online salary reference is a useful resource, but keep in mind that the listed job titles might have a different scope of responsibilities.

It is also advisable to check within your network of people in the same job position. If it’s needed, do cross check with some recruiters from a professional organisation to find out how you should measure your expected salary.

Not asking for more

For some people, it might be awkward to negotiate a sensitive topic like salary. However, not negotiating at all might be worse off. Are you afraid if the employers will pull the offer? As long as you know where your capabilities are and the ability to fulfil well or even more than what the company expected. Do not ‘downgrade’ yourself so that you can get the job! Other than just considering the salary you are asking for, employers are also looking for the right talent fit!

Failing to consider non-salary items

Monetary might not give you the job satisfaction you need. Value your future employers, as they might be giving you a standard base salary but they could be offering other great benefits. A yearly bonus, regular business trips (across the cities or countries!), allowances, rewards to achievements and great retirement plan are some non-salary items worth considering! Thus, look at the overall package they are offering you.

Allow your future employers to know your last drawn salary

Some employers will ask you about the salary you are drawing in your previous job. Let them know and justify why you are currently asking for more.

Don’t take it personally

Salary negotiation is a good idea, but you might feel undervalued should the process goes the opposite direction. Do keep in mind that, business is still a business, and the employers will hire the best talents they can afford. When negotiation goes tough, and you are not able to accept the undervaluing offer, just let it go. Some companies also have their standard rules to the tier of salary package offered.

Salary negotiation is both challenging and tricky. Avoiding these 5 mistakes might help you out in future! Check out www.jobiness.com and find out what are you worth now!

Next read: Are You Well-Prepared for Your Internship? Beware of These Top 8 Common Mistakes!