Overcoming Interview Jitters

It’s the big day of your interview, and after an unexpected detour, you arrive at the office 10 minutes late. Your heart is racing, and you begin to perspire as you realize you’ve forgotten your pen and notebook at home. The hiring manager enters the room, looking agitated at your tardiness. You are so nervous you can barely form a simple “hello.” Already, things are off to a bad start.

This isn’t what always happens in an interview, but the fear alone of a similar outcome (or worse) may make you anxious beforehand. So how can you overcome your interview nerves? Follow these key steps below to ensure you’re feeling calm and confident:

Research

A big mistake many people make before an interview is not researching the company or the job enough. Collecting information about the company will give you valuable talking points for the interview, reducing the risk of having any awkward pauses between you and the hiring manager. You may also want to write down the points and questions you come across in your search. Your notes will serve as a reference if you find yourself blanking, plus having notes will show the hiring manager you are well-prepared and enthusiastic about the position. With your “cheat sheet” in hand, you’ll be more self-assured and less nervous going into the interview.

Prepare

To reduce your stress on the day of the interview, preparation is key. Unwind the day before and make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Calculate your route in advance, taking into consideration the traffic and amount of time it will take to find parking. It’s a good idea to leave earlier than you need in case you come across an unexpected obstacle. Don’t forget to eat a good breakfast! You will need the fuel to be energized and alert during your interview, but try not to over caffeinate. If you are bringing a portfolio, ensure that all of your information is up to date and organized well in advance of the interview day.

Breathe

It’s simple. Breathe in for five counts and out for five counts, just like your yoga instructor taught you to do. If you are less familiar with the practice of yoga and this concept seems trivial, think again. When you’re in high-stress mode, taking deep breaths will distribute more oxygen to the brain, slowing down the heartbeat and causing the muscles to relax. Regularly practicing deep breathing is even proven to lower your blood pressure, reducing your risk of suffering from a brain aneurysm or stroke. It’s an incredibly effective technique that you can do anytime, anywhere.

Be Confident

Be Confident. Easier said than done, right? Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, begs to differ. In a very interesting TED talk, Cuddy introduces the idea that by faking confidence you actually become more confident. “It’s not fake it until you make it, but (rather) fake it until you become it,” Cuddy says. Her inside tip? Power posing. By posing victoriously with your arms outstretched and your chin up, you can change your body’s chemistry to have more testosterone (confidence) and less cortisol (stress). So strike a power pose in a private place before your meeting. This simple trick may help you exude more confidence in an interview, and increase your chances of success. Plus the end result is you feel great about yourself!

After following these steps you’ll be sure to stay clam and confident. When you get the call for another interview, check out 3 ways to ace a final round interview. If it didn’t go so well, don’t get down on yourself. Learn how to handle job rejection and fuel your fire to keep going.

Want to read more articles like this one? Check out our Scoop blog for more insights.

 

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