Congratulations! You have found a job posting that aligns with your interests, polished your resume, and submitted your application successfully. Excitingly, you have reached the significant step of securing a job interview. As a job seeker, you might feel nervous around the time of your interview, which is a substantial opportunity for you. It’s crucial to overcome these nerves to show a confident and composed demeanour when meeting potential employers. This blog will provide effective strategies to help you conquer your nerves before and during the interview, allowing you to maximise this exciting opportunity.
Ways to calm nerves before an interview
Prepare and Research
Researching yourself thoroughly is crucial to conquering your nerves before an interview. The fear of the unknown can be a major source of anxiety, but you can alleviate this by researching the company and practising common interview questions. Think of having a mock interview with a friend to refine your responses and gain feedback. Additionally, ensure you have your resume, notes, and any questions you want to ask ready. Bringing a notepad allows you to jot down important information during the interview, which can help you refocus if your mind goes blank.
Take a Walk
Before your interview, walk around the block or engage in a short run if possible. This lets you get some fresh air, release endorphins, and clear your mind. If it’s an in-person interview, take a few minutes to walk outside the building before entering, helping you feel more centred and focused.
Rehearse the S.T.O.P Method
The S.T.O.P. method is an effective way to handle stress. Stop what you’re doing and take a moment to focus on your thoughts. Take deep breaths to calm yourself, and then observe what you’re experiencing regarding bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Finally, proceed to incorporate what you’ve observed into your actions. This technique encourages mindfulness and empowers you to manage your fears and nerves, even in high-pressure situations.
Be ready for the worst possible scenario
Identify your biggest fears or concerns about the interview and develop strategies to address them. For example, pack a compact mirror and floss in your bag to alleviate worries about having something stuck in your teeth. If you’re concerned about answering tricky questions, proactively learn how to navigate challenging situations or gracefully handle uncertainties. By preparing for potential obstacles, you can feel more confident, knowing you have solutions ready if the worst-case scenarios arise.
Plan Your Day Around the Interview
Structuring your day around the interview can contribute to a more productive and focused mindset. If possible, schedule your job interview for the morning to avoid prolonged anticipation and stress throughout the day. The night before, prioritise getting a good night’s sleep to ensure you’re well-rested and alert. Additionally, plan something enjoyable or exciting after the interview to give yourself a pleasant event to look forward to, helping to alleviate any post-interview tension.
Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Start your day off right by having a nutritious breakfast before the interview. Hunger can amplify feelings of worry and stress, so fueling your body with a balanced meal will provide the energy you need and contribute to a more positive mood. Choose foods that you enjoy and that promote a sense of well-being.
Seek Support from Loved Ones
It’s recommended to contact a family member or friend who can offer support before your interview. Conversing with someone who brings positivity and encouragement can significantly boost your confidence. Hearing compliments and kind words from a loved one can help ease nervousness and instil a sense of belief in yourself.
Take Breaks Outdoors
Spending time outdoors has positively affected mental well-being, and physical exercise releases endorphins that uplift your mood. Before the interview, allocate a 15-minute break to enjoy fresh air and nature. If time permits, take a short walk or engage in light physical activity to clear your mind and reduce stress. For in-person interviews, consider taking a few minutes to walk outside the building before entering, allowing yourself to recalibrate and approach the interview with a refreshed mindset.
Focus on Your Breathing and Embrace Pauses
Throughout the interview, make a conscious effort to focus on your breathing. This practice helps centre your mind and prevent it from wandering or becoming overwhelmed with emotions. Additionally, when faced with a question, take a moment to pause before responding. This pause allows you to collect your thoughts, maintain a composed demeanour, and provide a well-thought-out answer.
Remember, It’s a Discussion
Shift your mindset and see the interview as a conversation rather than a one-sided interrogation. Recognise that the interviewers are not only evaluating your suitability for the role, but you also have the opportunity to assess if the position and company align with your goals and values. Approach the interview with curiosity and a genuine desire to learn more about the company and the role.
During your interview, one way to demonstrate confidence is through active listening. This involves actively engaging with the interviewer by maintaining eye contact, nodding to indicate understanding, and providing attentive nonverbal cues. Active listening shows your genuine interest in the conversation and allows you to comprehend better and respond to the interviewer’s questions and statements.
Another technique to exude confidence is to smile. Smiling creates a positive impression and can subtly impact your mood. Research suggests that smiling can trick your mind into feeling happier and more at ease, helping you relax and projecting a more confident demeanour throughout the interview.
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