Have you ever received an invitation to a job interview that paralyzed you with anxiety and self-doubt? Do you have a history of being so nervous during job interviews that your mind freezes and you cannot respond to the questions? If that’s you, then you’re not alone... According to a recent study, a whopping 92% of American adults suffer from job interview anxiety. Read on to discover some tried and tested ways to overcome that nervousness, so you can shine during the interview.
Prepare, Prepare and Prepare
One of the biggest reasons why people feel nervous before and during interviews is that they don’t know what will happen during the process. The fear of the unknown takes over the mind and causes you to be jittery, which can leave a bad impression on the interviewers.
How can you prevent this fear from affecting your interview performance? The boy scouts’ motto (“be prepared”) is your answer. Research the company you are interviewing for and learn as much as you can about their products, mission, vision, strengths, and weaknesses. Find a way to connect your skills and qualifications to the needs of the company. One great place to find out about interview questions is on GlassDoor.
You should also research some common job interview questions and practice suitable responses for each. Don’t be afraid of asking a friend or family member to help you prepare, and treat your practice run with as much care as the real thing. Also, picking your outfit for the interview the night before can help a lot.
This extensive preparation will boost your confidence so you will be mentally ready for the interview.
Change Your Perspective
Many people feel nervous during a job interview due to their feeling powerless regarding the direction and outcome of the interview. However, you aren’t as powerless as you may think. First, remember that the company saw something in you and invited you for a chat so that they can confirm that you are a good fit for the role. So, it’s likely that they’re already interested in you, and you just need to show them that they were right.
Secondly, remember that job interviews are a two-way street. Not only are they deciding if they want to work with you, but the interview gives you a chance to decide whether you want to work at that company.
Looking at the interview from these two perspectives puts some power in your hands, and you can see it more like a friendly chat, and less like an interrogation. Remember, both you and the company want this to work!
Stay Away from Stimulants
Did you know that what you eat or drink can worsen your nervousness during the job interview?
Stimulants, such as coffee and processed energy drinks, can make you hyperactive and prone to nervousness and fidgeting. Avoid these, and instead, eat whole grains or veggies shortly before the interview so that you stay energized without suffering from a sugar-high or caffeine slump during the interview.
Select a Power Pose
The best interviewers know that your body posture affects your emotions. Numerous studies have shown that you can influence or alter your mood/emotions simply by altering your body posture. This is something you can try out yourself, for example in a nearby restroom before your interview. Hold a strong, confident pose, like that of Superman or Wonder Woman, for two minutes before your interview. You might feel a bit more confident afterward, but even if not, being a little silly can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable. Remember to do the pose in private. Otherwise, people will think you’re nuts!
Regulate Your Breathing
Be mindful of how you are breathing before and during the interview. Interview nerves tend to make people take shallow breaths, which can worsen your nervousness. You should instead breathe deeply and slowly so that your heart rate goes down. This deep breathing will allow you to think clearly and respond in a calm manner.
Simply reading the tips above won’t make your interview jitters disappear. The truth is that you will need to practice and implement the techniques above until they become second nature. Get a friend and conduct a mock interview to practice the relaxation techniques. Before long, you will be looking forward to job interviews.