Yes, a lot is at stake during a job interview. However, with the right tools and planning, you can lessen your nerves and strengthen the impact you make on key decision makers for your future career.
Before the interview:
- If offered a choice, schedule your interview for the time of day you are most alert and effective. Also consider these insights about how your interview time can affect the decision.
- Get yourself into that waiting room at least 15 minutes early, by practicing your route to the interview location a few days before. Be sure you’re traveling at the same time of day so you get a realistic idea of the traffic.
Now that you’re settled in the waiting room, don’t just sit and let your mind worry about the conversation that’s about to take place. Use this time for things that will relax you and make you feel better about yourself and your suitability for this job. Here are eight suggestions:
- Introduce yourself to the receptionist and observe staff interactions to get a sense of the company culture.
- Look over your research and take stock of some of the questions you may ask and answer. I have found that clients who conduct a deep dive into their potential employer outperform their competition and shine during the interview.
- Watch your posture. You want to appear relaxed, not stiff in your chair – just don’t slouch!
- Breathe deeply from the abdomen to calm down your body’s nervous system.
- Smile to yourself and others – even if you’re faking, it will make you feel better.
- Think about the value you can bring this employer. Be sure to emphasize that during the interview as well!
- Look over your portfolio or brag book to jog your memory of your career accomplishments and pump up your self-confidence. You don’t have a brag book? Start one now!
- Open up a conversation with one of the other people waiting for an interview. Boldly ask why they consider themselves to be the perfect candidate.
Ultimately, the best advice for job interview nerves is the well-worn adage, “Be yourself!” Then you can trust that the rest will fall into place.