So you landed an interview for a job you had your eye on. You’re probably feeling excited, but also very nervous. That’s understandable, job interviews are some of the most nerve-wracking experiences anyone can think of, perhaps behind visits to the dentist’s office. The future of your employment hangs in the balance of the job interview. The pressure to appear cool, collected, and professional might get to your head.
Feeling anxious before a job interview is common. Even the most confident people get weak in the knees before heading into an interview. But, before you go into your interview without preparing yourself know this: from the second you walk into the door and check-in with the receptionist, they are observing your body language. If you aren’t able to keep your nerves in check, it could cost you the job.
We know this may contribute to your already high anxiety level, but don’t sweat it! Here are some tips on how to compose yourself before an interview and appear to be less nervous than you undoubtedly feel.
The first step in assuaging your pre-interview jitters is to familiarize yourself with the organization you are hoping to work for. Visit their website, read their about section, see if they have any information on their history, founding, client work, products, etc.
If they have a social media presence, scroll through their posts to gauge what the company culture is like. Typically, one of the first questions a hiring manager will ask is what you know about the organization and the job requirements, you want to ensure you have all your bases covered.
Now, scour the internet for the most common interview questions and rehearse your answers. Enlist the help of a friend or loved one to do some interview role-play. Your friends and loved ones want you to succeed, so they will most likely be thorough in playing the part of a hiring manager. Much like you have done throughout your school days, write interview questions on a flashcard and have your faux hiring manager sit you down and go over these questions.
Hopefully, the person you have helping you prepare will be honest about your performance. And, if you seem shaky on any of these questions, go over it again until you are confident enough to have all the important talking points addressed in your answer. The only caution we will give is that you can over-practice to the point where your answers may seem too rehearsed. You want to make each response unique to your own values and experiences.
The common cliche is you only look as good as you feel. Well, in this case, you most likely look like a ball of nerves on the inside before an interview. However, you can counteract this feeling by trying to look your best. Pick out your outfit the night before an interview. Make sure it is ironed and stain-free. If you like accessories, don them to the teeth.
If you’re into self-care, draw yourself a bath and perfume it with calming fragrances like lavender. Soak and think. Go over those interview questions again and meditate on some positive self-affirmations: you’ve got this, this is only a conversation, you’re perfect for this job…
If you’re not into pampering yourself to calm down, get active instead! Physical activity can be a healthy way to relieve stress. Take your dog on a long walk, or take a jog. You can review your interview questions and self-affirmations all the while. Getting the sweat out beforehand can help you sweat less during the interview. (This claim has not been verified by any medical community…but it makes sense though, right?)
When we say celebration, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy like a party with all your loved ones in attendance. But you should plan to do something you really love to do. Getting through an interview is definitely a ‘treat yo self’ moment. Get lunch with friends at your favorite cafe, buy that one thing at the mall you’ve always wanted, or look up movie times for some post-interview fun.
Having a positive activity planned after your interview will give you something to look forward to and will put you in a positive frame of mind. If something throws you off during the interview, thinking of what you will be doing afterward can help you refocus to get your mind on doing the best you can so you’re one step closer to that reward.
Like we said before, being anxious during a job interview is a universal experience. However, those who are composed and professional during an interview will most likely get a callback. Your hiring manager is probably aware and sympathetic about your nerves, but they are also studying you to see how you react under pressure. If you have thoroughly prepared and pampered yourself before an interview, you can walk in and out of there with the confidence that you are doing your best. Good luck, and remember, stay cool!
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