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Entering an interview room often feels like stepping onto the set of the TV show “Fear Factor,” where contestants confront their greatest fears. In this scenario, the fear stems from the high stakes of securing your dream job. But fear not, for just as contestants conquer their fears, so too can you overcome the daunting prospect of being interviewed. 

Overcoming the Fear Factor

Many individuals who struggle with interviews share common anxieties with test-taking and public speaking. However, these fears are not insurmountable. Preparation and practice are vital in building confidence and improving interview performance. Remember, just as the interviewer assesses you, you’re also evaluating whether the company aligns with your career goals and values.

The Importance of Asking Questions

A successful interview involves two crucial components: the interviewer’s questions and your inquiries. While the interviewer evaluates your fit for the role, your questions demonstrate interest, initiative, and suitability for the company. Angela Smith, a consultant at The Muse, emphasizes that a lack of questions from applicants can signal disinterest or a lack of preparation, raising red flags for employers.

Key Mistakes to Avoid

Over my 45 years of conducting interviews, I’ve witnessed several common mistakes applicants should steer clear of:

Arriving late
Offering a weak handshake
Displaying a negative demeanor
Avoiding eye contact
Failing to prepare adequately
Projecting a lack of confidence
Neglecting personal appearance
Communicating poorly
Demonstrating disinterest or passivity
Lacking clear career goals
Resisting commitment to the job’s requirements
Overemphasizing salary considerations

Crafting Your Own Questions

Crafting informed questions demonstrates your engagement and suitability for the role. Here are some inquiries to consider:

1. Challenges in the Role: Understanding the position’s challenges helps assess your compatibility and readiness to tackle them.
2. Company Work Environment: Insights into the work culture aid in determining if the company aligns with your preferences and values.
3. Filling Company Needs: Inquire about addressing the company’s current needs, showcasing your proactive approach and fit for the role.
4. Addressing Concerns: Openly addressing any concerns about your past experience exhibits honesty, accountability, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.
5. Training Opportunities: Demonstrating a commitment to self-improvement and growth, ask about available training programs.
6. Performance Expectations: Understanding initial expectations illustrates your willingness to meet company objectives and integrate seamlessly into the team.

The Dialogue of Interviews

Remember, an interview is a dialogue, not a monologue. Engage with the interviewer, showcasing your personality, skills, and suitability for the role. Practice is key to overcoming interview fears. Enlist the help of friends or mentors to simulate interview scenarios, honing your responses and confidence.


Conquering the “Fear Factor” of interviews requires preparation, confidence, and effective communication. By asking insightful questions and engaging with the interviewer, you demonstrate your value as a candidate while assessing the company’s suitability for your career goals. Embrace each interview as an opportunity to showcase your talents and find the perfect fit for your professional journey.

With these tips in mind, go forth with confidence, and may your next interview be the gateway to your dream job.

Written by Rick Moore Sr.

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