Have you ever blanked out at an interview?
You know the feeling…
The interviewer asks you a question, any question, and suddenly you don’t remember anything.
It needn’t even be a complicated or tricky question.
There’s no telling when nerves might strike during an interview.
It happens to the best of us.
So how to beat the nerves?
The first thing to understand is that when our brains are stressed out (ie, when we get nervous), we fall down to the level of our systems or habits.
We won’t be able to reason things out from first principles when we are stressed.
Hence it is important to build the right systems to overcome nerves:
Use the MAP framework.
Memorize – Memorization is not such a bad thing. What you want to do is to memorize the basic framework of your response to classic questions like “tell me about yourself?” and the behavioural questions. Once you have the structure in place, it will become easier to fill in the details without making the answer look robotic.
Audition – Even great actors have to audition for roles. In your case, mock interviews will suffice. Once your answers are prepared, have a friend or a mentor conduct a mock interview. That will help you assess how you perform during an actual interview. It will also help you get actionable feedback to improve your answers and delivery.
Practice – Memorization alone is not enough. You need to know what it feels like for the responses to be flowing off your tongue. When do you need to take a moment to breathe? When do you tend to tense up? Are any words or phrases difficult to roll off your tongue? You won’t know this until you practice.