With so much riding on your performance, it’s normal to be nervous before a job interview. In fact, as noted by Psychology Today, a certain level of anxiety can motivate you to be more energized and better prepared. But, you don’t want to be so overwhelmed with nerves that you can’t be your best self for this critical meeting. Here are some tips to help you stay on a calm, even keel:
Prepare your talking points and questions.
Make a list of the key points you want to get across during your interview, as well as the questions you want to ask. This will help you avoid drawing a blank when the time comes.
Hold mock interviews.
Take those talking points and questions and use them to hold mock interviews. Then, you can practice in real-time, with a trusted friend or colleague acting as your interviewer. Rehearse as often as necessary until you feel less anxious. Ask for honest feedback to see where you can improve.
Practice relaxation techniques.
Try meditation, exercise, reading, listening to music, or being outside in the fresh air – whatever takes your mind off your nerves.
- Practice breathing exercises. Try breathing in for a count of four, holding for two, and then breathing out for a count of four.
Use the STOP method.
This technique is effective for tackling just about any stressful situation:
- Stop what you’re doing and focus on your thoughts.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Observe what’s going on in your body, emotions, and mind, and why you’re feeling this way.
- Proceed with an intention to incorporate what you observed in your actions.
The Night Before …
To avoid having to rush on the day of your interview, change as many “day of” preparations into “the night before.”
- Iron your best blouse or shirt. Layout your outfit and conservative accessories. Pack your briefcase or portfolio with copies of your resume, paper, and an extra pen, and any other documents that may be required. On the Big Day, you want to be able to get ready and ace your interview, not stress out over a missing button or broken zipper.
- Cut out the caffeine and alcohol, go to bed at a reasonable hour and get a good night’s sleep.
The Day Of …
Eat a healthy meal before your interview. Allow yourself enough time to arrive about 15 minutes early. This gives the employer the impression that you’re punctual and respectful of others’ times, as well as giving you that crucial decompression time.
Keep things in perspective and remember: Your interview is important, but it’s just a conversation. As nervous as you are, the employer has asked you there for a reason. As noted by Richard Moy, author of How to Keep Your Cool When You Interview with Your Dream Company, “As much as you want to work for them, they’re also really hoping you’re the one.”
The career counselors at PrideStaff Modesto can work with you throughout your job search process – from finding the right available opportunities to preparing for your interview, and negotiating the best offer when that awesome time comes. We have a proven track record of more than 30 years matching top candidates with leading employers throughout the Central Valley and beyond. Contact us today to learn more.