Even if you’re fully prepared for an important interview, nerves can get the best of you. Waiting for the interview, having to answer tough questions and feeling as if you’re being assessed all the time can crack your composure.
Both novices and experienced pros can suffer from nervousness during an interview. The good news is that various strategies can be used to calm down and enhance that performance.
Do Breathing Exercises
Breath control is one of the most powerful relaxation techniques out there. This is why proper breathing is an important component of yoga and meditation. Through slow, deep breaths, you can bring your heart rate down and you will in turn feel somewhat calmer.
If you find yourself getting too nervous before the interview, close your eyes, take a deep breath in, hold it and exhale slowly. Repeat the exercise several times and focus exclusively on your breathing. You will soon find yourself a bit calmer and much more capable of thinking clearly.
In fact, you may want to get started with a deep breathing routine in the days before the interview is due. When you internalize the process and turn it in a habit, you will find it a lot easier to disengage from troublesome thoughts in the heat of the moment.
Prepare for the Interview
People tend to feel very nervous when they face the unexpected and when they don’t know whether they’re prepared enough.
Taking some time to prepare for the interview will eliminate one of the potential sources of nervousness.
Just think about it – you experience such nerves in school when you don’t know whether you can handle an assignment. You face similar nerves before a first date because you have no idea whether the other person is going to like. You feel equally nervous when waiting for a medical appointment during which you’ll be given exam results.
The unknown is scary. Doing research will help you address at least some of the question marks. Read about the company and about the work that they do. Prepare yourself for some of the most common types of interview questions. Think about the ways in which your skills make you a good candidate. If you have rehearsed in advance and you know how to tackle complicated inquiries, chances are that you’ll be capable of maintaining your composure throughout the interview.
It’s Not the End of the World!
Once they get out of an interview, most people realize that it’s far less scary than they have anticipated it to be.
An interview is in essence a conversation with another person. You can ask questions, you can reverse the power dynamics or make it a pleasant experience for everyone involved.
Yes, it’s possible to be interviewed by someone who is going to grill you. Such situations, however, aren’t the norm. Job interviews are becoming more informal and pleasant than ever before. Instead of stressing about the worst-case scenario in advance, wait for the actual interview to occur.
After all, it’s not the end of the world. Even if you get turned down, you have at least given it a try. There will always be another opportunity out there that you can pursue. Don’t get into a mindset that everything rides on this single conversation. If you give it this much importance, chances are that your performance will suffer.
Practice Power Poses before the Interview
Apart from rehearsing potential question answers, you may also want to try body poses before the interview. Recruiters pay careful attention to body language because it tells them a lot on top of the conversation itself. If you try confident and relaxed poses in advance, chances are that you will feel in control during the interview itself.
High power poses are open. Don’t cross your hands in front of your body or slouch on the chair. Keep your limbs relaxes and your spine straight. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and smile when appropriate. When your body is positioned in the correct way, you will feel a lot more confident and ready to tackle challenges.
Take Your Time
A final thing to remember is that you don’t have to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.
It’s ok to take a few seconds to think about the question you’ve been asked and to compose an answer in your mind.
Take your time. Nobody is rushing you to answer quickly. Inhale, exhale and consider the possible answers to a question you’ve been asked. Recruiters know that some inquiries are challenging and complex. They will give you enough time to think about it and come up with a meaningful response.
Mistakes take place and they’re normal. What matters is picking yourself up and moving on. You can turn an interview around even if it starts in a disappointing way. Be present and take control of the situation. Allowing panic to reign over your behavior will make you miss on a wonderful learning and life establishment opportunity.