Most candidates find themselves biting their nails far more before the role-play exercises than at any other time. There’s no need to worry, there are ways you can turn it round.
Fear- I won’t know what to say.
Answer- ask questions, it will take the pressure off you and give you more information to respond to
Fear- I won’t understand what is expected
Answer- a sneaky cheat is to ask the role-player to confirm their understanding- their summary might switch a few lights on for you
Fear- I won’t say the right thing
Answer- you will usually have at least 20 minutes for this exercise. In that time you will get some things right and other things may be a little off. The exercise is your chance to show how you would handle the situation; there is never only one way to do it.
Fear- the role-players will be intimidating
Answer- the role-players are briefed to respond to you. If you are confrontational and aggressive, in any situation the person you are speaking to is likely to respond accordingly. If you are conciliatory, the role-players are likely to be more amenable. They are there to get the best from you- if you are visibly nervous they will rein any confrontation in until you have settled. This may be reflected in your scores though so don’t use this as a strategy!
Fear- I’ll run out of things to say
Answer- if you finish way ahead of time you probably haven’t covered everything. Go back to your instructions to make sure
Fear- I won’t be able to get my words out right
Answer- the more nervous we are the harder it is to be coherent! The best approach is to find out more about what the role-plays cover, what they are likely to be looking for, strategies for getting the discussion under control and guidance on how to direct the interaction to a successful and impressive conclusion. This sort of info is quite specialised so you may need to get some help- which we can do!