You’ve nothing to fear but fear itself.
It’s natural to feel a bit nervous when you’re going for a job interview. It’s like going to the dentist. Or waiting in the security line in the airport, even though you’ve nothing to hide and you’re not exactly on Interpol’s “most wanted” list.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, a certain amount of nervous tension is probably inevitable but there are techniques or tricks you can use to keep you calm. Check out these simple tips if you want to shake off those nerves and nail that interview.
1. Know where you’re going
Make sure you know exactly where the interview is and how long it’ll take to get there. Do a dry run if you can. There’s nothing like getting lost on the way to an interview to leave you rattled.
2. Prepare properly
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Know your CV inside out, practise all the classic question variations and always do your research on the company. Knowing that you’ve done everything you can will leave you relaxed, confident and able to concentrate on charming those lucky interviewers.
People tend to speak faster or babble when they’re nervous. Take deep, slow breaths while you’re waiting for the interview to lower your heart rate and help you relax. There’s no need to hyperventilate but a few deep breaths can work wonders and calm you right down.
4. Look sharp
Look good, feel good – there’s a lot to be said for going into an interview feeling like a rock star. Dressing to impress will fill you with confidence and make you feel that you deserve to be there.
5. Have a laugh
Laughing and smiling can actually reduce stress hormones and relieve anxiety. On the morning of the interview, watch some of your favourite comedy clips on YouTube or chat to your funniest housemate. Think of it as nature’s Valium!
6. Avoid coffee before the interview
You might fancy a caffeine hit but downing a coffee can make you jittery and actually ramp up the fear. So that’s obviously not great.
7. Get your posture right
Slumping in a seat isn’t going to make you look like a go-getter. Leaning too far back in a seat can also make it difficult to project your voice. Relax and lean slightly forward to make yourself appear confident and attentive. A good posture can help to make you feel alert and engaged.
8. Take a moment before answering
Take a second before you answer a question. The interviewer will appreciate that you’re considering what you want to say. That second can give you just enough time to gather your thoughts, compose yourself and give them the answer they want.
9. Think of it as a chat
It’s easy to overthink what’s involved in an interview. Try to treat it as a friendly chat and to be yourself. If you stumble or make a mistake, just apologise and explain that you’re nervous. Most people will appreciate your honesty. Just remember to impress them once you’re back on track.
10. Ask for a morning interview
You may not have any options but it’s worth asking for a morning interview if you can. That way, you won’t spend all day stressing out and working yourself into a state. It’s fine margins like this that can make the difference.
11. Stay in the moment
It’s easy to lose concentration when you’re nervous. One minute, you’re worrying about your body language. The next minute, someone’s asked you a question while you weren’t listening. Fend off nerves by being really present, engaging with the interviewers and focusing on what they say and do.
By: Rory Sugrue
Sources: Art of Manliness & Joe.ie