How to calm your nerves before a job interview

Getting called for a job interview puts you one step closer to gainful employment and opportunities to learn and advance in your career.  It can also be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’re anxious to begin with or the stakes are high and you really need a job, versus just looking for something better than your current work situation.

So, how do you calm your nerves and put your best foot forward?  Here are a few effective tricks to try for your next interview.

Prep and practice

Remember how your heart would race every time a teacher in school announced a pop quiz?  Think about how this compared to the tests you knew were coming and you spent weeks studying for.  The latter was likely still stressful, but knowing you were prepared took the edge off considerably.

Preparing for job interviews is no different than taking a test, except the stakes may be a bit higher.  The point is that when you go in prepared, you’re going to feel more comfortable and confident right off the bat, and this can help to reduce stress significantly.

What should you do to prep?  Learn what you can about the position itself so you can speak to why you’re the best candidate for the job.  You should also take the time to research the company.  You want to show that you’re interested and excited to be working there and that you’ll be a good fit for the team.  Finally, practice the interview with a family member or friend so you already have answers in mind for common questions and you don’t get flustered during the actual interview.

Dress the part

The way you dress not only sets expectations for your future employer, but it also changes how you behave and how you feel about yourself.  You’re a lot more likely to slouch when you’re wearing a tee and baggy jeans than you would in a sharp suit.  Plus, appropriate dress makes you feel like you belong, and this will be reflected in your attitude and demeanor during an interview.

Skip the caffeine

If you’re prone to nerves, the last thing you need is a bunch of caffeine keeping you up late the night before  before an important interview.  Even if coffee is a normal part of your routine, your body is going to be on high alert already from the adrenaline, so don’t exacerbate the problem with added energy, not to mention the need for frequent trips to the restroom.

Post by Sarah Harris

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