How to Handle Nervousness Before an Interview
Job interviews strike fear in the hearts of many because they determine whether or not you are employed and able to eat and live independently. This level of pressure can make someone very nervous, even if they are normally calm and focused. However, there are several things that you can do to reduce your nervousness so that you are calm and collected when you sit down with the interviewer.
Start Visualizing Yourself As Successful
You are what you see and this is where visualization comes in. When you practice visualization, you use your mind to see yourself where you want to be. In the case of a job interview, you visualize yourself in the interview and everything going well. You see yourself talking to the interviewers and having a productive meeting, while building solid rapport with them. Watch yourself shake their hands and exit the interview room proud and happy about how the interview went. You can do this once per day for at least two to three days prior to your interview. This puts you in a confident frame of mind and prepares you to tackle your interview.
Practice Makes Perfect
You can calm yourself and increase the chances of a relaxed interview by practicing your responses beforehand. Make sure that you know the information on your resume very well so that you can quickly answer questions and elaborate on it. You should also anticipate basic interview questions, such as those about your strengths and weaknesses, and practice your responses to these questions in advance. This gives you the upper hand and it ensures that you will not get caught off guard by any questions. When you are ready with a good answer, you are far less likely to get nervous when answering the interviewer's questions.
Go Slow and Think
During your interview, there is no need to speed through your answers because interviewers prefer those who provide thoughtful answers. Practice doing this before you head to the interview so that you have a good pace for answering interviewer questions. The easiest way to do this is to have a trusted friend or family member role-play the interviewer as you play the interviewee. Have them ask you approximately five questions and time yourself to determine how long it takes you to answer the questions. You will also want to request feedback on your answers to ensure that they are thoughtful and thorough.
Think Positive Thoughts
This is likely something you already know, but it is so important that it bears repeating. It is easy to fall into the type of thinking process where you are focusing on the potential negative aspects of the interview. You may be worried about how you will answer questions, about whether the interviewer will like you or what the outcome of the interview will be. You have to push these thoughts out of your mind and put your focus on the positive aspects. Think about things like how much you like the company, how excited you are for a new job and what a good opportunity it is to land the interview.
Learn More and Be Prepared
When you sit down with an interviewer, the easiest way to impress them is to know important information about the company. Before an interview, take the time to get on the Internet and do some basic research on the company. Take note of things like achievements, basics about the company's history and other pertinent information that would be important if you worked there. The interviewer will likely ask why you want to work for the company and you can use this information to answer their questions in a thoughtful and well-informed manner.
The Day of The Interview
On the morning of the interview, you want to do a small routine that will help you to focus, get rid of your nerves and ease yourself into interviewee mode. Something simple like eating a healthy breakfast, practicing some yoga and deep breathing, reviewing your notes and then getting dressed gives you something to focus on. This is important because while the interview is the most important thing you will do for the day, if you put all of your focus and energy on it, you will increase your nervousness.
Before your next job interview, take the time to put these anti-nervous techniques into practice in advance. Your interview is a big deal and giving yourself about a week to prepare will increase the likelihood of you getting the job and impressing the interviewer. It also helps to calm your nerves because you will be able to master these techniques before the day of the interview.
- Rosemary Kitchen
Smith, J. (2014. 11 Tips for Calming Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation. Retrieved on January 29, 2015 from http://www.businessinsider.com/tips-for-calming-nerves-before-a-speech-2014-6
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