Interviews, especially for jobs we really want, can be incredibly nerve-wracking. Here are five ways to calm yourself down and walk in with the confidence you’ll need to land the job.
Turn the voices off
Your brain is probably playing a loop of what-ifs. Those have to stop. There are plenty of things you won’t be able to control, and there’s no use worrying about those. And there’s no sense worrying about the things you can control—try controlling them instead. Give yourself periodic reality checks and make sure you’re not spinning too far off into a fear spiral.
Find your power place
You’ll perform best when you feel at your best. That means being relaxed, confident, and tapped into what it is that makes you special. Figure out before the interview how to channel this feeling, and practice conjuring it up. That way, even when you’re in the hot seat, you’ll be able to access it and get into your groove.
As silly as it sounds, remind yourself to breathe. Nerves are a physiological response and your reaction to them can exacerbate the panic cycle. A few deep breaths can calm your autonomic nervous system enough for you to get back on track.
Fearing it won’t help you avoid it. Rejection is more common than not. The sooner you come to peace with getting a few “no’s for every ‘yes,” the better. Instead of feeling the shame, try embracing the positive: you tried, you may have failed, but you probably learned something worthwhile that will help you next time.
See the person
It’s easy to view your interviewer as a robot or a super-villain holding the keys to your future and stingily not letting you in. But hiring managers are people too. They’d be delighted if you were the last person they ever had to interview. So connect on a human level, do your best, and remember: you’re just two people having a conversation.
After enough interviews and building this new calm and confidence, you might start to view them as a pleasant opportunity—something to look forward to!—rather than a thing to dread.
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