How To Calm Job Interview Nervousness
Interviews can strike fear in the hearts of the most seasoned job seekers. If you don't have a lot of experience
interviewing, it's not unusual to feel mild jitters or even outright terror at the thought of sitting down with a
potential employer. But you don't have to let emotions turn that important hiring hurdle into a horror show.
Experts offer several tips for preventing anxiety from torpedoing your chances of landing the job.
Put yourself in the interviewer's shoes.
Interviewers are not trying to make your life miserable. In fact, they are hoping you are "the one." They need to
fill the job with the best person, and if they don't succeed their jobs could be on the line. Just keeping that in
perspective can help calm your nervousness.
Prepare, prepare, prepare.
"Preparation is 90 percent of success in job interviews. Typical interview questions that may include are:
Why are you the best person for the job?
Tell me about yourself.
What are your best/worst traits?
Why do you want to work here?
What did you learn in school (or at an internship) that prepares you for this job?
You should always know what the company actually does before the interview. Finding out could be as simple as
a two-minute Internet search.
Plan your day around the interview.
Running late will stress you out. Avoid rushing by mapping out the directions to the interview site and allowing
more time than you think you'll need. Budget for traffic jams, bad weather, road closures and just getting lost.
Make sure you budget enough time off from your current job or school, so you don't feel like you have to run out
of the interview if it runs longer than you anticipated.
De-stress before the interview.
After you check in with the receptionist -- being pleasant and professional when you do this -- tries some
relaxation techniques. This could be as simple as closing your eyes or doing a few deep breathing exercises. And
don't even think about taking a drink or using substances to calm down; that should be obvious, but for some it
Listen, think and then speak.
Whether your interview is in person or over the phone, it is important to listen to what the interviewer has to
say, and then think before responding. Take a few seconds to understand the question, and then prepare a
quality answer before simply blurting out something less intelligent.
Prepare your own questions.
You'll know the interview is almost over when the interviewer asks whether you have any questions about the
job or the company. When you hear this, don't say "no," and bolt for the door. Use this opportunity to solidify the
good impression you've made. Well-thought-out questions show you're really interested in the company and the
job. Also, if you have sent in your resume, have a copy in front of you. Always wait until the interviewer has
finished asking about you and your background before launching into your own questions.
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