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Aug 11, 2022 Guest Contributor

Strategies for calming your nerves during a job interview

It is not difficult to understand why job interviews make us so anxious. After all, this is a chance to find a job that will support your livelihood and the health of your family. A little nervousness is okay, but if you let it get out of hand, then your anxiety could actually cost you the job.

The good news is that the experts have come up with many techniques that you can try to calm your nerves before the big meeting. Follow these tips, and you could be a shoo-in for the job.

Understanding your nerves

The first step to remaining calm for a job interview is to understand why you get so nervous and how failing to control your nerves could hurt your chances of getting that dream position. There are many reasons why we are naturally nervous. For one, we know that we are being judged by others and that they are expecting us to perform well if we want the job. Sometimes, subconsciously we may feel like we don’t measure up.

Also, in the back of our minds, we often believe that if we don’t get this job, then we won’t be able to provide for our family, and some wrongly assume that there won’t be another opportunity if we miss out on this one. If those are your fears, then you need to realize that there are many other jobs out there and that they aren’t really judging you, but just finding the right person for the job. In the end, maybe this simply isn’t where you are meant to be.

You can also take comfort in the fact that the interviewer expects you to be a bit nervous for the meeting because they are likely a bit anxious in their own interviews. However, if you show constant signs of nervousness, like visible shaking, fidgeting, or you lash out and say inappropriate things, then the hiring manager may see those as red flags and assume that you act like this on the job as well. So, while some anxiety is to be expected, there are many tactics you can try to keep that visible nervousness to a minimum.

Preparation in the days leading up to the interview

The best way to calm your nerves and perform to the best of your ability is to prepare your body and mind in the days leading up to the interview. The best trick you can do is to look online for commonly asked interview questions and come up with answers that apply to the job you are trying to land.

For instance, many interviewers will ask about your greatest strength, weakness, and what you know about the company, so you will want to have pre-planned answers for those questions. Some interviewers may also ask tougher questions, like inquiring about a time that you had to overcome adversity on the job or a time when you made a mistake and had to learn from it. So, you will want to think about answers to those questions as well.

You should start doing your research at least a day or so in advance and avoid pulling an all-nighter the evening before the interview. In addition to needing time to practice your answers, it is also important to get enough sleep the night before. By getting your eight hours, you will wake up feeling refreshed, and you will remember the information better than if you’d crammed all night.

If you get too stressed out for the interview, then you could make yourself physically ill, and that could lead to increased nerves or even missing the interview altogether. When you are stressed, your body releases hormones that can inhibit your digestive tract and prevent the proper processing of your food, which can lead to digestive issues. Needless to say, it is imperative that you keep your mind and body at ease. During the week leading up to the interview, try to eat healthy foods and make sure to drink enough water because hydration is essential to helping your body to work at peak efficiency.

Work on your confidence

For some, researching interview questions and having prepared answers is only half of the battle. The other half is being able to sit in front of several people and provide those answers with confidence. The first thing that you can do to improve your confidence is to arrive at the interview ahead of schedule. That way, you can find where to park, make your way to the right office, and have some time for final prep without feeling rushed.

The same goes for remote job interviews, which are happening more frequently these days. Although you might be at home, you still need to be ready ahead of time, so you aren’t logging in late and making a bad impression right off the bat. Log in early and test your equipment ahead of time, so you know there won’t be any hiccups. That means testing your camera, speaker, and microphone. If you are on time for the interview, then you will prove that you are a punctual person.

Finally, whether you are interviewing in person or over the computer, wearing the right interview outfit is another way to increase your confidence because you will give off the idea that you are serious about the interview. When looking for an outfit, think about how you expect to dress if you land the job, which may mean formal business wear or a suit. At a minimum, women should wear a nice blouse and men should wear a collared shirt. In general, it is better to be overdressed instead of under-dressed

In the end, while you may not be completely able to eliminate your stress, with proper preparation, you can nail your interview. Follow the tips mentioned here, and you can get the job you deserve.

About the Author:
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies.

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