Oh no, the dreaded pre-interview jitters. Everyone has been nervous before– you know the sweaty palms, the sense of lightheadedness and the jumpy speech – none of these outward expressions will make a good impression at a job interview.
The stressful nature of a job interview is enough to shake just about anyone to their core. But you don’t want have to worry about having clammy hands or stuttering speech if you follow a few simple tips to help calm your nerves.
- Arrive early enough to relax
Most people know to arrive to a job interview a few minutes early, but if you’re easily stressed out by interviews, you should arrive a little earlier. 30 minutes is a good time to arrive, it will give you time to sit and relax, have a glass of water and find your center. Make sure you check your appearance before the interview; the more confident you feel, the more composed you will appear in the interview.
- A smile goes a long way
Smiling makes you happy and relaxes people around you, even if you don’t feel happy. Studies have shown that if you fake a smile, it will actually make you a bit happier and when you portray this in an interview it relaxes everyone. If you show confidence in the interview, the interviewer will treat you with respect, so remember to smile confidently during your interview.
- Breathe for a moment before you answer
Before you answer any questions, just take a moment or two to inhale a breath and give the question some consideration. You may think you’re taking forever to answer the question, but in reality it’s only one or two seconds. The pause will also appear to be a part of your natural thought process, so it appears as if you’re giving the question serious consideration. Also, breathing deep will help to calm you down, and prepping the question in your mind gives you time to formulate an answer and speak when you are not nervous.
- Look your interviewer in the eye
One thing interviewees often do is fidget around during an interview, especially if they are nervous during the interview. To make and keep eye contact with the interviewer, focus on a spot right between their eyes. Just don’t stare at their nose or mouth. They are below their eyes and most people can tell when someone is looking at their mouths and not making eye contact.
- Relax your body
If there is a pause in the conversation, use this as an opportunity to review your body. Are you tight and rigid, are your muscles clinched or are you fidgeting with your hands? If you are stressed, try to relax your muscles as much as possible. You will feel and appear more comfortable to the interviewer.
It’s not unusual to feel some apprehension during a job interview, but by following some simple stress-relieving exercises, you can maintain your composure and succeed in the interview.