So much work goes into the job search process that by the interview phase, emotions can run tense. You’ve worked so hard to get in the door and now the stakes are high, your palms are sweating, and you’re a bundle of nerves.
Here are five things you can do to keep your cool and rock your interview.
1. Prepare before you go
The best way to not panic in the interview is to be super well-prepared. If you know everything there is to know about the company and the position, if you have answers to all the usual questions, plus a few unusual ones, if you’re ready with thoughtful, constructive questions for your interviewer when prompted… if you’ve done all of this, then you won’t be nervous about what’s to come. You’ll look confident, driven, and smart, and they’ll know without a doubt you wanted the job enough to do your homework. Who knows, the interview could even turn out to be enjoyable for both of you.
2. Get some sleep
You’re nervous. You can’t imagine calming down enough to go to sleep before the big day. But rather than staying up all night pacing (or watching Netflix, or surfing Facebook on your phone) in your darkened bedroom, make yourself a cup of tea and go to bed. You’ll be much fresher and sharper tomorrow, and infinitely less stressed.
3. Practice makes perfect
Get everything ready the night before. Try on and lay out what you plan to wear. Make sure your shoes are polished and your documents are in order. Then see if you can’t get a friend or roommate to practice asking you questions and assessing your answers. Saying things out loud the night before can make you sound more put together when you’re in the interview.
4. Pump up
Listen to music that either soothes you or motivates you on your way to the interview. Studies show it can have a measurable effect. At very least, it’ll put a bit of bounce into your step and allow you to walk in relaxed and confident.
5. Show up early
Being late is a big strike against you. But being a little early never hurt—especially if you’ve never been to that particular part of town or office before. You’ll be glad you have a few minutes of leeway in case your GPS messes up or you run into unexpected traffic.
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