It’s interview time! You’re sitting in the lobby, trying to appear calm, but your mind is racing with all the ‘what ifs’ it can possibly create. You know you’ve got to pull yourself together, but it feels next to impossible.
Everybody has felt like this before a job interview! These stressful tests come with a lot of nerves, but luckily, there are ways you can calm down. Follow these tips:
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
The best way to turn the nerves into confidence is to be as prepared as you possibly can be. There are four main pieces to this preparation. First, research the organization thoroughly by looking at its website, social media presence and recent news. Follow that with learning the job description inside-out and knowing what specific strengths of yours make you the ideal candidate. Next, make sure you know where the interview is taking place, how to get there and how much time you will need. Finally, practice your responses to standard interview questions with a trusted friend or mentor. All of this work beforehand will leave you with the feeling of, “I got this.”
Are you a regular coffee drinker? Consider taking the day off for your interview. Caffeine will only magnify any pre-interview jitters.
Nothing conveys positivity and confidence quite like a smile! Even if you’re nervous, smiling can mask your inner butterflies. According to Psychology Today, “The feel good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well. This not only relaxes your body, but it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.”* So when you walk into an interview, make sure you bring a smile with your best handshake!
When people get nervous, we tend to talk quickly and appear a bit frantic. Combat this during your interview by remembering to take deep breaths and consciously watch your pace. Not only will you appear calm, you will actually become calm, as well.
Mistakes happen! If you make a little blunder at the beginning of your interview, do not dwell on it. You will only work yourself up to the point where you will probably make more mistakes. Put the mistake out of your mind, and focus on nailing the next question.
Remember, It’s Not Just You!
It’s only natural to be nervous during an interview, and your hiring manager knows that. In fact, he/she is probably nervous, too! Keep this and our other tips in mind, and you can be confident that nerves won’t take over your interview.
Have another tip? Please share in a comment!
* Sarah Stevenson, “There’s Magic In Your Smile,” Psychology Today, June 25, 2012