Feeling anxious before a job interview is entirely reasonable. However, for some people, this anxiety can become so overwhelming that it affects their performance during the interview and decrease their odds of landing the position. If you struggle with interview anxiety, take heart – there are strategies and techniques you can utilize to enhance your performance and calm your nerves.
The number-one way to overcome your nerves is to be as prepared as possible for your interview. Research the company so you’ll be able to demonstrate your real interest in the job. Read up on typical interview questions and prepare responses – but avoid memorizing your answers word for word, or you’ll sound robotic. Think about the experience and skills you want to highlight. Spend some time rehearsing what you’d like to say. Also, get your outfit together the night before and leave yourself ample travel time so that you don’t feel rushed on your way there.
Even if you don’t feel confident, pretend that you do. Acting self-assured will help you feel self-assured. Positive non-verbal communication goes a long way, so remember to smile and avoid crossing your arms (which makes you look defensive).
Try a different perspective
If you view your job interview as an interrogation, you’re more likely to feel threatened and worried about being judged. However, the interview is just as much a chance for you to learn about the employer as it is a chance for them to learn about you. You and your potential employers are both interviewers with the same goal – to find out whether the position is right for you and you are right for the position. Think of it as a conversation rather than an interview, and you’ll feel less anxious about it.
All these tips can help you get a handle on your nerves and ace your next interview. Feeling calm and cool – or at least appearing to – can optimize your chances of getting your dream job.