14 Tips For Staying Calm During A Job Interview

14 Tips For Staying Calm During A Job Interview
I was sitting in the reception area at one of my client's offices last week, and a woman was sitting across from me. She was there for an interview.

I could tell she was nervous; her body language, breathing, and mannerisms showed me so.

It got me thinking about just how nerve-wracking interviews can be.

Of course, it's natural to feel a little anxious before an interview; after all, potentially, a lot is riding on it.

However, letting this anxiety control you can have negative consequences. When you're calm, you're better able to articulate your thoughts and showcase your skills effectively.

Need help on how to stay calm in an Interview? If you stay cool, calm, and gathered during an interview, you'll appear confident, which is appealing to a candidate. Here are 14 tips for remaining calm during a job interview. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Be prepared

Research the organization. Know their products, what they do, and who their competitors are. You should also research the folks who will be interviewing you. View their LinkedIn profile and learn about their roles within the company. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the more confident you'll be in responding to their questions.

The best way to stay calm is to be very prepared in every way possible. Research the company and the industry, write down the questions you have for the interviewer, practice answers to anticipated questions aloud--either by yourself or with a friend or family member who will give you honest feedback, and write down the three to five things you want the interviewer to know about you before the interview ends so you can tailor your answers appropriately.

Employers want to know that you're a good fit for not only the position, but also the organization. Know the company's mission statement and think about how this position can contribute to the overall company mission,. Just like you wouldn't go to an exam without having studied, you shouldn't go to an interview without having done your homework.

Plan

Being prepared also includes doing what you can ahead of time. The fewer details you have to worry about the day of the interview, the better.

Lay out your clothes and do your ironing the day before. You don't want to pull your dress shirt out of the closet an hour before the interview only to realize it has a huge stain on it. Map your travel route and check the traffic reports. Give yourself plenty of travel time and arrive to the interview 15 minutes early. Nothing will get you frazzled faster than being late.

Rehearse

Don’t memorize exact answers to likely interview questions; but outline points you want to make and think about the message you want to convey.

Sometimes anxiety can make thinking about an interview so unpleasant that we under-prepare, and then we really have a reason to be nervous. “Practice makes prepared.”

Like with anything, the more we practice, the more skilled we become. If your voice trembles when you are nervous, conducting practice interviews will help you become more confident and keep your nerves in check. If you are unable to conduct a practice interview, then practice in front of a mirror paying special attention to your posture, facial expressions and eye contact.

Eliminate the unknown

There are many things that can cause stress before the interview, so as much as possible, try to eliminate them, Teach says. For example, if you're not sure what to wear to the interview, call the Human Resources department and ask them, just to be sure.

Arrive early and relax

When you arrive at the interview site, allow yourself plenty of time to sit in your car, gather your thoughts, breathe, and to center yourself. Remind yourself that this is a conversation to determine fit on both sides.

Think of the interview as a conversation

While it may be difficult to do, don't think of it as a job interview. Think of it as a conversation between two people who are trying to get to know one another and to see if they will be compatible working together. Also, keep in mind that the hiring manager may be nervous, too, so if you walk in with a smile, you can put them at ease which will help put you at ease.

Think positively and be confident

Prior to the interview, visualize yourself doing a great job, answering the questions clearly and succinctly and impressing them with your knowledge of the company. If you experience shaky hands, then fold them and place them in your lap. If you have a trembling voice or butterflies in your stomach, take several deep, calming breaths. Try to maintain a natural smile.

You were asked to come in for the interview for a reason. Someone at that company liked your resume and felt that you may be a great fit. Always remind yourself of your skills and accomplishments and why you are the best person for the job. If you walk into an interview feeling confident, then the hiring manager will overlook any nervousness you may have.

Think friend, not foe

The person interviewing you isn't a friend, yet--but thinking of them as hostile or the enemy is going to get your adrenaline going so fast it will leave your good senses behind. Learn what you can about the person interviewing you—and make them into a human being rather than being a rejection machine. You'll be able to relax more and be yourself when you remember that they need you; they want to learn about you to see if you're right for the job.

Sit up straight and don't fidget

By squaring your shoulders and sitting up straight, your voice naturally projects better than if you're hunched over. You will also have the appearance of confidence, even if you're trembling on the inside.

Normalize

Don't stress about the fact that you are stressed. Everybody feels nervous to a degree, you just want to dial your anxiety down so it doesn't get in your way of being your best.

Focus on your strengths and your purpose

Anxiety has a way of making the best of us feel like unqualified losers. To circumvent the doubter work backwards: ask yourself, if you were to get the job, what are the reasons why? Nothing burns through panic like purpose.

Also focus on what you want to convey about yourself, rather than second-guessing what the interviewer is thinking. You can't be on stage and in the audience at the same time. You do your job, the interviewer will do hers.

Breathe and take your time

When we're stressed or anxious we tend to take quick and shallow breathes. A deep and full inhale followed by an equal exhale brings more oxygen into the blood, which is a natural relaxant. When we're relaxed we can think more clearly.

You’ll also want to take your time. If you're caught off guard by a question don't think that you have to jump right in with an answer, she adds. Take your time to formulate your thoughts, which will allow you to provide a well thought out answer that's more likely to impress the employer. If you need to make quick notes to keep yourself on track, go ahead and do that.

Fear and excitement can often produce the same physiological responses, but don't confuse the two, she says. Remember that while an interview can be stressful, it's also exciting.

Accept the fact that mistakes will happen

Employers aren't looking for perfect, they're looking for flexibility and resilience. Taking the pressure off the perfection valve will help you perform better and will show your future employer that you can have grace under fire. If you can do it in the interview, you can do it on the job.

Remember that there are other jobs out there

Don't put too much pressure on yourself because you're interviewing for a job and you've put all your eggs in one basket. If this was the only job out there and this was your only job interview, it would be understandable why you would be so nervous--but just remind yourself that if you don't get this job, there are other ones out there.

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