Walking into an interview can be nerve-racking. In moments you’ll be seated in front of a total stranger where you’ll be placed under the microscope, dissected and analyzed to determine if you’re a suitable fit for a position. Therefore, it’s normal to get the jitters and be a little on edge. Fortunately, there are a few ways to calm yourself down and put your best foot forward.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
The more you know about your potential employer, the job, necessary qualifications, etc., the more confident you’ll be going into an interview. If you’ve covered all of the angles, there’s really no reason to be nervous, and you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.
Perhaps the best thing you can do is to thoroughly research everything you can. Learn about their company history, their role in their industry, their culture and so forth. Not only will this make you more comfortable, it will be easier to ask great questions and make a positive first impression on the hiring manager.
Show Up Ahead of Time
If you’re already nervous, it’s only going to make things worse if you have to frantically rush and around and battle traffic just to barely make it on time. In this scenario, you’ll feel completely overwhelmed and will be far from having a zen-like mindset. But you can do yourself a favor by having some wiggle room and accounting for unforeseen variables like traffic jams and difficulty finding a company’s location. If you happen to show up obnoxiously early (15 minutes or more), you can always kill time by reviewing the job description and preparing answers for potential interview questions.
Hit the Restroom
If possible, make a quick stop in the restroom to freshen up. Wash your hands, splash some water on your face, give yourself a pep talk or whatever it takes to get your head in the game. Sometimes a couple of minutes in private are just what you need before meeting with your interviewer.
Practice Deep Breathing
It may sound cliché, but this is a great time to take a few deep breaths to regulate your breathing. According to Harvard Medical School, “Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.” This practice is scientifically proven to calm you down and should help you achieve a deeper level of focus and concentration
It’s normal to be nervous before an interview, but you shouldn’t let it get in your head. At the end of the day, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and skills and prove why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Just follow these strategies to ease your nerves and calm yourself down.
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