Nervous in an Interview? Get Rid of the Butterflies with These Three Tips

Job interview anxiety got you down? We’re here to help.

Being nervous isn’t a bad thing. It’s your body’s fight-or-flight response trying to protect you. But sometimes that normal response can be overpowering, causing you to doubt yourself and flub questions.

Luckily, it’s possible to reduce those nervous feelings with a few techniques.

Prepare

The best way to reduce interview question-related anxiety is to already know the answers to any questions your interviewer could ask. Although you might not be able to figure out every single topic they could quiz you on, a quick online search can teach you quite a bit about your potential employer.

Research everything you can about the company. Know a bit of the company’s history, the company culture, and see if you can find any information about your interviewer.

Next, find out where you fit with this company. What is it that you can do in this position that nobody else can do? Come in with specific statistics if you can (for instance, increased page views by ___%, reduced customer service call time by ___%, increased product turnover time by ___$, improved your safety rating to ___ level, etc.).

Prepare answers to the most frequently asked interview questions, like “where do you see yourself in five years?

For company-specific questions, check out Glassdoor. Users upload questions for their interviews so you can be sure to impress.

Practice

Great, now you’re prepared! The next step? Putting all that hard work into practice.

If you haven’t been to many interviews (or haven’t interviewed in several years), you might not be comfortable with the process. Being alone in a room with some person you’ve never met quizzing you on your life and experience can be awkward.

That’s where practice comes in! Grab a friend or family member and go over questions and answers together. Practice your handshake (it should be firm but not threatening), your eyeline (look them in the eye but don’t stare at them the whole time), and your timing. Make sure your responses don’t go on for longer than 60 seconds or so, unless you’ve got stories that can really capture attention.

The more you go through the interview process, the more comfortable you’ll become with yourself and your answers. And that’s the version of yourself interviewers want to see!

Calm Yourself

Obviously, this is easier said than done. On the day of the interview, you have a billion thoughts swirling in your head. Will they like me? Am I even good enough for this position? What was my name again?

Psychology Today has several techniques to cut down on these thoughts.

These include breathing (“try breathing for a count of 4, hold for 2, and breathe out for a count of 4”), sighing (“take a breath and let it out like a sigh. You’ll probably feel your shoulders relax”), self-compassion (“focus on these words: Wisdom. Strength. Warmth. Nonjudgement), and, interestingly, getting outside of yourself.

What does that last one mean? Caring about others. Anxiety makes you think about yourself and how your own personal world is going to end for one reason or another. That’s why Psychology Today recommends you “make a point of focusing on others and being empathetic.” Talk to people about their day and how they’re feeling, from the receptionist to your interviewer to texting friends and family. Realize you’re not alone out there!

You’re Ready!

That’s it. You’ve done everything you can do to get rid of that pesky interview anxiety. Odds are, there’s still a little bit nagging at you under the surface. But you’re the one in control. You’ve prepared your answers and interview style, know the company, and are as calm as you can be. Get in there and show them why you’re the best person for the job!

Have you ever been nervous in an interview? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments section below!

Answering the Interview Question: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Ideal responses for one of the trickiest interview questions. This one is right up there with “tell me your top five strengths and weaknesses.” In an ideal world, prospective employers would only ask about your workplace experiences (teamwork, job responsibilities, how you handled projects, etc.) and draw their own conclusions about you as an employee from there. But that doesn’t always happen. Some companies have set questions they ask potential employees to weed out undesirable candidates from the rest of the applicants. Asking where you see yourself  in five years is one of those questions. Your answer can tell them something about your drive, your desire to keep working at their company, and where you think this position fits into your career and overall life. Here are our tips on how to best answer. Focus on Upward Movement Most employers want an employee that plans on improving over time. They don’t want you to be content with the same responsibilities year after year. The expectation is that you’ll come to …

Poll Results: The Most Popular Employee Training Programs

Is your company offering the training you want?

Getting to know the ins and outs of a new company can be complicated. You’re juggling learning about the company history and culture with remembering your new co-workers’ names and getting familiar with the responsibilities specific to your position.

That’s where employee training comes in. A great onboarding program can help reduce your stress load and provide a path to follow.

But different employees prefer different types of training. To determine which was most popular, we polled you, our dedicated readers and here’s what you had to say!

The Results

The top option was a “formal employee training program,” with just under 20% of the vote, followed by “mentorship” and “access to online training classes and resources,” both at just over 15% of the vote.

“Supervisors/managers train employees” came next with 15% of the vote, followed by “reimbursement for college/career tech training and certification fees” at 11%. “Apprenticeship,” “self-guided training,” and “internships” rounded out the pack at 10%, 8%, and 5%, respectively.

Many others also submitted “hands-on training” as an “other” option.

What does this mean?

Self-guided training is fairly unpopular, given that it can be difficult for a new employee to wrap their head around every facet of the company all on their own.

And most new employees want structure; a dedicated, formal training plan that outlines their responsibilities and how they should handle them. Employees don’t want to go through piles of training materials on their own; they want a manager or dedicated training person to guide them through the process. Periodic training check-ins are also a great idea.

Did the results surprise you? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Job Spotlight: Plant/Manufacturing Supervisor

Supersize your career with a plant supervisor position

Despite already having experience with several jobs, many working adults are unable to answer that age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Our Job Spotlight monthly blog series is designed to help you answer that question. In this series, we review all the basics of specific jobs, from salary and duties to why people do the jobs they do.

Plant/Manufacturing Supervisor

For this month’s Job Spotlight, we put together information about Plant/Manufacturing Supervisors. Manufacturing isn’t going away any time soon, and every plant needs supervisors. This makes job stability quite high.

Responsibilities include leading a team and managing production goals.

Required Education

Usually a high school diploma or equivalent, although there can be exceptions.

Pay

Although it varies depending on a variety of factors (e.g. experience, industry, geographic area, etc.), Plant/Manufacturing Supervisors can make $58,754 a year, on average.

What Plant/Manufacturing Supervisors Do

Plant/Manufacturing Supervisors handle a variety of responsibilities, which may include:

  • Lead and coordinate a team in creating a wide range of goods
  • Take the lead on safety reporting and tracking
  • Act as an internal resource on production demands
  • Record and monitor delivery logistics
  • Keep track of quality goals
  • Handle employee training

What Companies Look for in Plant/Manufacturing Supervisors

Every Plant/Manufacturing Supervisor position is different, but many need the following skills and attributes:

  • Lean manufacturing work experience
  • Willingness to gain industry training and skills
  • Extrusion industry experience (Example: Manufacturing)
  • Leadership skills to foster a growing team

Not sure where to find a position like this?

We can help.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S and Canada. If you have any questions about Plant/Manufacturing Supervisors in your area or job search in general, feel free to contact your local Express office or fill out our online contact form.

For More in Our Job Spotlight Series:

Are you a Plant/Manufacturing Supervisor? What else should people know about your job? Let us know in the comments below!

Have You Considered Phased Retirement?

You’re tired of working and ready to retire, so what’s stopping you?

Maybe you can’t afford it yet. Or perhaps you don’t want to stop working because you enjoy it. You want more time to dedicate to your family or hobbies, but aren’t quite ready to give your job up and retire. So, regardless of reason, you keep working.

The Good

But working forever isn’t the only option. There’s another way to ease out of the workforce—phased retirement.

Not sure what that means? Investopedia defines phased retirement as including “a broad range of employment arrangements that allow an employee who is approaching retirement age to continue working with a reduced workload, and eventually transition from full-time work to full-time retirement.”

In other words, phased retirement allows you to work in a part-time capacity for a certain time period before you start full-time retirement. You get to keep working for longer, while employers get the benefit of you passing on your knowledge and experience before heading off to retirement.

Sounds enticing, right?

The Bad

A study published by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, as reported by Forbes, notes that 77% of employers believe many of their employees want to keep on working post-retirement. Forty-seven percent think employees would like to do some sort of phased retirement. The issue?

Only 31% of those same employers actually allow that shift to a phased retirement, and only 27% are okay with employees taking on jobs that are less stressful or demanding to make retirement easier.

The Solution

If you want to keep working and embrace retirement, there is still a solution through staffing companies like Express Employment Professionals.

You don’t have to pay anything to benefit from Express. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call a local office or register online. Let your employment specialist know your work availability and they’ll find you part-time positions that allow you to phase into retirement at your own pace.

For more in our retirement series, check out these helpful blogs:

Retirement: Happy 40th Birthday 401(K)

Beginner’s Guide to Retirement

Job Searching Past Retirement Age

Three Tips for Getting Your Retirement Started Off Right

Do you plan on retiring? If so, will you retire outright or opt for a phased approach? Let us know in the comments section below!

Poll: Do You Like Your Current Job?

Jobs are tough. We have to spend hours away from our friends and family doing something we might not love so that we can afford to pay our mortgages, utility bills, and many other things.

But for those who love their jobs? The paycheck becomes a bonus to the work instead of being the sole purpose of working.

We want to know how you feel about your current position. Whether you love it, hate it, or are indifferent about it. And, given those feelings, do you see yourself leaving anytime soon?

Let us know by voting in our poll!


Scary-Cool Words for Your Resume

Scare off the competition with your newly expanded vocabulary

Ghosts and ghouls are garish and ghastly. Zombies are zealous in their pursuit of brains. And warlocks are wild in their suspiciously suspect spellcasting.

But there is one creature more frightening, foul, and fatal than all the rest:

Your resume.

Only a select few enjoy resume-writing. For the rest of us, the onerous activity can seem like an exercise in futility, akin to trying to melt a witch wearing a water-resistant wetsuit.

You must get your foot in the door to score a job, and, unless you’re a zombie with the ability to throw your actual foot through the literal door, you’ll need a tip-top resume to get past the scanning robots and secure an interview.

Here are the tastiest words to make sure you don’t get eaten by the competition.

Words That Show You Take Initiative

You want to show your potential employer you didn’t twiddle your thumbs and do the bare minimum in your previous positions. Use these words to show you’re eerily experienced, and that you originated new and complex programs:

  • Redesigned
  • Revamped
  • Launched (a new project, blog, program, team activity, regular event, etc).
  • Established
  • Introduced
  • Pioneered
  • Spearheaded

Words That Show You Are Results-Driven

Employers want results. Would you hire a ghost that scared “a bunch” of people or a ghoul that increased the individuals frightened by 72% within 2 years? Be specific with the following words:

  • Generated
  • Seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, etc. (Again, be specific!)
  • Dollars and cents; as exact as you can get
  • Improved
  • Increased good thing (gross margin, sales, customer satisfaction) by ___%.
  • Decreased bad things (customer complaints, workplace accidents, etc.) by ___ %.

Words That Show You Are a Team Leader

A true werewolf king is the leader of his pack. But that doesn’t mean he needs to repeat the word “led” five hundred times on his resume. Instead of saying you “led” a team, show you went above and beyond with these words:

  • Managed
  • Directed
  • Coached
  • Oversaw
  • Mentored
  • Motivated
  • Supervised
  • Cultivated
  • United

And that’s it! Now that you have plenty of words in your resume pumpkin, you’re ready to turn it into a ferociously fresh job search jack-o’-lantern. So, get carving!

Any other “boo-tiful” words you’ve found effective in getting your resume noticed? Let us know in the comments below!