It is natural to be nervous before a job interview – the spotlight is on you and you may be feeling a lot of pressure to be the perfect candidate. And while a little nervous energy can help keep you on your toes, a feeling of rising panic can stop a good interview in its tracks.
Here are some techniques to help you keep your cool:
-Remember the interviewer is just a person doing his/her job and may very well also be nervous and feeling pressure from a supervisor to hire the right person.
-Visualize success. Before your interview, close your eyes and imagine yourself having a great interview. Athletes and stage performers use this method as a way of defeating nerves and creating the reality they envision.
-Focus on the three P’s of interviewing: preparation, presentation, and positive thinking. Practice your answers. Do your research. Be aware of your non-verbal behaviors. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and think about why you are a great candidate for this job.
-Keep yourself physically active. In the days leading up to the interview, don’t allow yourself time to ruminate and worry about how it will go. If you are feeling stress, keep your body active by taking a walk, or other exercise. The endorphin release will help you feel more relaxed and release tension.
-Breathe. Just breathe. Practicing your breathing may sound ridiculous, but for those who practice yoga, they know that a “cleansing breath” is a great way to release tension. Inhale for 3 seconds. Hold your breath for a moment and then slowly exhale. Do this deep breathing several times and it will help you find your center again.
-Realize that they already like you! The recruiter saw something in your resume that was impressive and you likely edged out lots of other applicants in securing this interview. Most importantly, remember the interviewer really wants to keep liking you as it makes his/her job much easier.
-Treat the interview as an opportunity to network and meet new people. You will establish important connections even if you don’t get hired.
Put it in perspective. Will you survive if you don’t get this job? Yes. Will there be other job interviews? Yes.
Do your best. Accept that other than how well you prepare and present yourself, much of this process is out of your control. And remember…..
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”