Great! All that hard work you put into your resume has paid off and you’ve got the job interview.
If you’re anything like most people though, the initial euphoria will probably turn to job interview nerves, with stomach-churning anxiety as the fateful day draws ever closer.
Job interviews are enough to turn even the strongest and most confident of people to jelly, and of course the more you have riding on the job, the more nervous you are likely to be. What can you do though to keep those butterflies under control and those knees from knocking so that you can actually concentrate on blowing the interviewer away with all your great skills and experience? Here are a few tips to help you overcome job interview nerves and stage fright, both before and during the event.
Before the Job Interview
- If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to induce pre job interview nerves it’s not being prepared. Spend as much time as you can in the run-up to the interview on researching the company, studying the job ad and job description and on making sure that you understand precisely what the recruiter’s pain points are and how your skills and experience can help to address them. Pay particular attention to the skills and qualities that the company is looking for and prepare your “stories” to demonstrate how you have used these to the benefit of your current or past employers.
- Practicing your interview technique in advance will enable you to talk with much greater confidence about your work experience and what you have to offer, so be sure to enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to role play your job interview with you. Alternatively, practice on your own so that you get used to telling your stories.
- Do a dummy run to the interview location so that you know exactly where you are going, how long the journey will take and where you can park when you get there. Setting off blind on the day of the interview will only add to your anxiety.
- Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep the night before your meeting is due to take place. Take a nice relaxing bath to calm your nerves before retiring and then breathe in positive thoughts and breathe out negative ones as you drift off to sleep. Don’t be tempted to use alcohol to calm you down or make you sleep as it’s likely to leave you feeling less than sharp in the morning.
- Lay out your clothes and anything else you need for your job interview the night before so that you don’t have to fret about finding things or making yourself late.
- Eat breakfast to ensure that mind and body are firing on all cylinders. A nice kaya toast perhaps? 😉
- Aim to arrive at the interview location early so that you can take a walk to get rid of some of that nervous energy.
- Keep reminding yourself that your interview is a two-way process and that it’s as much about you deciding whether you want to work for the company as it is about whether the company wants you on board.
- Keep things in perspective. It’s a job interview you’re attending, not a funeral. Even if you don’t get the job, things could be far worse.
- Smile to yourself on the way to the job interview. You probably won’t feel much like smiling, but even a forced smile will make you feel more positive and confident.
- Remind yourself that the interviewer isn’t an ogre and that he or she wants you to succeed, not fail.
- Act as if, or in other words, fake it ‘til you make it. This is probably one of the most effective ways to get through any kind of situation that causes you anxiety or discomfort, and basically it’s about play acting. When people feel confident their body language is very different than when they’re nervous. They walk with an air of authority, look people directly in the eyes and talk with assurance. They don’t slink into a room as if they hope not to be noticed or chew at their fingernails or fidget. Pretend that you are that confident person or think back to a time when you genuinely felt filled with self-assurance and then behave as you did then. It doesn’t matter if in reality you’re quaking in your boots because nobody else knows what’s going on inside of you. Just fake it to begin with and before you know it you really will feel like that confident person you want to be.
Hope these tips help keep those job interview nerves in control!