Your stomach begins to churn, your palms sweat profusely, your mouth goes dry, and your voice begin to shake… and that’s when you’re just thinking about your forthcoming job interview. We all get nervous for job interviews, as nobody likes being in the hot seat, being assessed on what they say, and how they react to different questions.
Related: How To Beat The Interview Jitters
The irony is that when we are in a high stakes situation, the brain, as Dr. Tamar Chansky, author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety, writes: “Doesn’t distinguish the high stakes of a job interview – where it would help to be calm, cool, and collected.”
Knowing that everyone has to go through dreaded job interviews at various points in their life helps, but when we’re in the hot seat, feelings of sense, calm, and rationality can easily go out the window.
5 Strategies For Overcoming Interview Nerves
If an impending job interview is filling you with dread and anxiety, take a look at the following strategies for overcoming interview nerves.
1. Be prepared
If a President had to stand up and address the nation without any prior preparation, the criticizing press would have a field day. A similar analogy can be applied, on a smaller scale, to interviewees and interviewers. If the former is well-prepared, he or she is much less likely to be nervous, stumble on certain questions, and make blunders than if the candidate wasn’t prepared.
Make the interview work for you by carrying out the necessary research and preparation. Being well-prepared for the questions the interviewer is likely to ask means you can walk into the interview room with your head held high rather than nervously looking at your feet wishing the ground would swallow you up.
2. Be fresh and focused
It might be easier said than done, but getting a good night’s sleep the night before the interview will ensure you are fresh and ready for the ‘big day.’ Refraining from drinking alcohol the night before, having a bath, and going to bed early with a good book will help banish nerves and ensure your mind and body are fresh and focused for the interview.
3. Leave plenty of time to reach the interview destination
Being in a mile tailback of traffic, five miles from your destination and ten minutes until the interview is due to start will not do your pre-interview nerves any favors whatsoever. On the contrary, any nerves you have now about the job interview will be intensified by the prospect of being late.
It might sound obvious, but planning your journey so you know where you are going and leaving plenty of time to get there will help you stay calm for the interview.
4. Take deep, long breaths
It has long been recognized that shallow breathing contributes to panic and anxiety. By contrast breathing deeply is a well-known technique to stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is responsible for calming the body down.
Before the job interview, work on controlling your breathing. Place one hand on your stomach and take a deep breath in. Hold your breath for several seconds before breathing out. When you feel nerves creeping over you, practice this deep breathing routine in intervals of ten.
5. Think positively
Instead of grimacing in uncomfortableness every time you think of the interview, imagine a positive scenario in which you are completely in control. Picture yourself answering the questions confidently and impressing the interviewer with your calm and positive persona. Imagine shaking the interviewer’s hand, knowing you will hear from the company shortly with positive news.
And lastly, smile. Smile on the day of the interview and keep smiling until you leave the interview room. Smiling releases endorphins which help convince your brain you are happy, content, and ready to tackle anything the interview might throw at you.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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