If you get nervous before going into a job interview, don’t worry- you’re not alone. It’s easy to think that this job interview and the opportunity it represents is the be all and end all of your career. That mindset will just lead into more worrying, and won’t help your performance at all. In today’s blog, we’ll give some tips on how you can calm your nerves, and go into your next job interview cool and confident.
Remember, they are bringing you in for a reason.
Remembering a few things going into an interview will help you keep negative thoughts away. For starters, keep in mind that they are bringing you in for a reason. This is one of the most important realizations to have. No company interviews a candidate just for fun. If they have gone to the lengths of bringing you in, they see something in you. Going into an interview, you should have a renewed sense of confidence simply from being there. Don’t let yourself think you aren’t qualified, you are there because someone believes you are.
Practice answering job interview questions out loud.
This may seem silly, but practice answering some common job interview questions out loud. It will help you get a sense for a calm and natural response in a non stressful environment. One of the biggest problems people have is that they rush through their answers because they are nervous, and the interviewer can barely understand it. Find out the normal speed at which you naturally speak, so you can remember not to rush in the interview. Also, talking through a few interview questions is a great way to mentally prepare for them when the time comes.
Remember, it is only a conversation.
At the end of the day, all you are doing is sitting down with someone else to have a conversation. While the stakes may be slightly higher in this conversation, it’s a conversation all the same. You are talking to someone else, who is human and has feelings. Don’t make the hiring manager or the interviewer an enemy in your mind. Instead, think of them as a potential future colleague. The friendlier the conversation seems, the better! Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Likeability is a surprisingly powerful factor in getting hired, and nobody want to work with someone who is cold and uninviting.
Make sure you bring everything you need.
If you forget to bring something to a job interview, it will be hard to stay calm. While it’s not the end of the world, forgetting extra copies of your resume or a pad to jot down notes can make the job interview more challenging. If you’re not sure what exactly you should be bringing, we previously made a blog post covering all the necessities. Make sure you lay it out in an easy accessible place the night before so you don’t forget it the next day. This will keep you from panicking when you realize you forgot something.
Sleep well the night before.
A good night’s sleep will solve a lot of problems the day of your interview. Looking tired and being exhausted won’t do you any favors in the conference room. You don’t want your interviewers to think that you are going to fall asleep at work, and it’s pretty challenging to be charismatic when you are exhausted. Even if you have the night before jitters, try to get to bed earlier than usual. Start reading a book, have a glass of milk, or do anything that will help you relax and fall asleep.
Give yourself enough time before the interview.
Being late for an interview will badly damage your chances. Also, if you’re cutting it close, screeching into the parking lot and then rushing in won’t do great things for you either. The night before your interview, plan out the route you are going to take, and give yourself a comfortable amount of time. It’s completely acceptable to arrive 10-15 minutes early. In the event that you arrive there earlier than that, you can always sit in the parking lot and glance over the job description one last time before you head in to meet with them. Getting there early shows that you appreciate their time, and it allows you to fill out any paperwork you may have to. Interviewers always appreciate it when their candidate has filled out their paperwork on time and is ready to talk when they are scheduled!
It may seem silly to say, but remember to breathe. No job interview is worth you not letting oxygen get to your brain. Even if you are stressed, remember there will be other opportunities, and this is just a conversation. Consider taking a few calming breathes before you go in for the interview, and perhaps before the interviewer enters the room. Just make sure you don’t hyperventilate!
A lot of candidates believe there is a certain expectation for the type of person a company is planning on hiring. To this point, some candidates may change their behavior to appeal to what they think the hiring manager expects to see. However, this can actually be a fairly unwise tactic. Instead of presenting themselves, they try to be someone else, and that lack of sincerity shows. When going into a job interview just be yourself. That is the person they were interested in interviewing! Remember if you do get hired, you’re going to be working for them constantly. Trying to keep up that facade would be exhausting, so just be yourself!
Remember, there are other jobs.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that this job interview isn’t the end of the world. More opportunities will come along, even if it doesn’t seem like it now. Although you may feel really attached to and excited about one job, don’t get too torn up if it doesn’t work out. You will never know if the job is right until you start working- so don’t get too stuck on missed opportunities. Simply take note of any mistakes you made, and resolve to fix them in the next job interview you go to.
What it ultimately comes down to is being yourself, and realizing this one job interview isn’t the be all and end all of your career. Go into it with a cool head and, realize it is just a conversation. Many times the biggest reason we aren’t calm, cool, and collected in job interviews is our own paranoia. We build up the importance of these job interviews, and convince ourselves that everything rides on this one chance. However, a good balance between calm confidence and motivating drive should get you in a good place. Go in realizing this may be a great opportunity, and that you should do all you can to get it. However, also realize if it doesn’t work out, there will be another better job opportunity out there for you!