Managing stress at aviation interviews

When it comes to any potentially stressful situation, stress can end up as your best friend or your worst enemy.  Unfortunately many aviation job candidates believe that there’s not much they can do to harness the power of their stress and make it work in their favour.  In this blog post we want to share our 10 Top Tips for how to prepare for your aviation job interview and make sure that you get stress in proportion and make it work for you rather than against you.

  1. Recognise the signs. Knowing how your body responds to stress is one of the first ways of putting yourself in the driving seat rather than allowing stress to pull the strings.  It may be that you sweat profusely; stumble over words or your hands tremble.  Either way, knowing what your outward signs of stress are will allow you to deal better with them.  It may be that a product to temporarily immobilise your sweat glands is called for, or it could be that working on your verbal presentation in stressful situations will be your solution.  No matter what the signs, you can overcome them with practice and focus.  Take time to identify them and get to work to reduce them before you get to the stage of interview.

  2. Accept that stress can be good. Ask any acclaimed public speaker, winning athlete or respected actor and they’ll tell you that if they didn’t suffer stress, their performance would become mediocre.  Recognising that stress will help you perform better if you manage it right is a great first step to allowing stress to come into your life; but on your rules.

  3. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Think about pretty much any testing situation in your life and if you’re like us at AviationMatch, you’ll recognise the correlation between lack of preparation and bad stress levels.  In a nutshell, the more prepared you are for your job interview the less stressed you’re likely to be on the day.

  4. Make your life easier. Stress often creeps up on us when we’re expecting it least or when external factors take over.  Things like making sure you’ve planned (and if possible) tested your journey to your interview; tried that suit you’re going to wear (but haven’t worn for over a year) or set two alarms just incase you over-sleep are some basics that’ll help you make your life a whole lot easier and less stressful on the day.

  5. Take good care of yourself. Eating well, drinking lots of water, cutting down on alcohol and coffee as well as exercising and getting enough sleep make every body work better; but isn’t it funny how tempting it can often be to ignore these “feel good” factors?  When you’re job searching, you need to have your wits about you and one great way of keeping stress at bay during your aviation interview is by making sure you’ve taken good care of yourself beforehand.

  6. Embrace alternative stress therapies. Things like Yoga, essential oils and even Bach remedies can work wonders for certain people.  For others, boxing as a sport or running marathons is what does it for them.  Find your stress therapy and use it to your advantage.

  7. Don’t sit down. When you’re waiting to go into interview, it’s a good idea to remain standing.  Although pacing up and down can worsen nerves, feeling as if you’re trapped in a chair isn’t good either; so stay standing in the reception area so you have the freedom to move about if you want to.

  8. Take your time and don’t forget to breathe. One common tendency in stressful situations is to blurt out responses without sufficient thinking time or to forget to breathe.  Either of these can make you feel like a bumbling idiot very quickly, so remember to take time to pause, gather your thoughts and breathe deeply before you speak.

  9. Remember it’s not life or death. No matter how much you want to bag the job in question, you need to remember that getting the job or not is unlikely to result in any sort of life or death situation.  Putting the interview into context and preparing as well as you can will help you put your stress into perspective.

  10. Enjoy it. Interviews are always an interesting experience and in most instances you’ll learn something every time you go through the process.  Because of this, it’s important to try to enjoy the experience if you can.

If you’re on the lookout for an aviation job, why not upload your CV today to get headhunted by top airlines and aviation companies as well as receiving job alerts that tell you when new jobs that match your criteria are posted on our site? 

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