Even the most cool, calm and collected folks aren’t safe from the pre-job interview jitters. Job interview tips are easy to find, but when it comes to feeling like a pro — not just talking like one — there aren’t many. Fake it ’til you make it works wonders, obviously, but becoming a nervous wreck before every interview isn’t healthy or helpful.
Since we’re all victims over over-thinking prior to an interview, we have some advice on how to help combat the over-thinking and to maintain your composure in order to be your best self. Trust us, you’ve got this, it’s just all about preparing your mind and representing yourself the right way to snag that job.
There’d most likely be a big raise of hands if I were to ask who has desperately Googled “how to calm down before an interview” right before a job interview. Last minute pressure points, breathing techniques, mantras and motivational quotes won’t really do too much for you, unfortunately. Your mind is already on edge and you should be focusing on staying calm, not getting calm. Whether or not you believe in any of these practices, doing something as simple as breathing properly can lower your heart rate, take your anxious feelings down a notch and ease the mind.
Going into a job interview without knowing much more than the company’s mission statement is a surefire way to make you look unprepared and feel jittery. Go beyond taking a peek at the website and really dig deep to find what the company is all about. Find core values and goals that you have in common with the company, as this will make you look more appealing as a candidate, and much more passionate about getting this position. Having some research under your belt before you sit down can easily take away the nerves and any mystery surrounding what the job is like.
LinkedIn is a great way to learn more about the person (or people) who will be interviewing you, but don’t just stop there. We’re millennials, so we can do better than that. Check the social media accounts of the company and, if available, the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account of the interviewer. Learning the little things about your future colleagues can come in handy for small talk and a conversation starter. Pets, favorite coffee shops and vacation destinations are all easy things to nonchalantly mention when you first meet. Finding something small to connect on other than the job description will help both of you let your guard down a little bit… without being too creepy, of course.
Thanks to websites like Glassdoor, kind-hearted folks who have been through the job interview war zone are able to share their experiences, so those of us quaking in our blazers and dress shoes can get an idea of what to expect. You can read about interview questions that were asked, what the outcome was and what the interview process was like in general. There are even some people who blog about their interviews and the outfits they wore to the job they scored. Those amazing Internet strangers all have your back, don’t you worry.
You don’t have to make yourself go through this alone. Friends, family and mentors are there for a reason. Vent about your concerns, voice your annoyances, emphasize the things you’re excited to share. Letting your mouth run free for a little while will ensure you’re not keeping those thoughts pent up up until the big moment. If you waited until the last minute to express yourself, try quickly typing down all your feelings into your the notes on your phone. It’s not quite the same as having a person there, but anything is better than letting it bubble over.
Unless you have anxiety, there is usually some external reasons why you’re feeling a certain way. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to crack down on what that reason is and fix it. Obviously, you’ll still have some feelings of nervousness when you go in, but feeling panicked and unable to relax is not a great state of mind for an interview. Sit down alone in a quiet space for at least 10 minutes and try to narrow down what’s really getting to you. Do you feel unprepared? Are you scarred from a previous experience? Is a lack of confidence getting in the way? There are plenty of little things that can make you feel like crap, it’s just a matter of identifying what they are.
You may think manifesting what you want is a little too out there, but studies have actually found that visualization is a powerful tool. An article on Psychology Today, mentions a study in which the same brain waves found in weightlifters when they lifted hundreds of pounds were also activated when they simply imagined doing so. The article also says, “In some cases, research has revealed that mental practices are almost effective as true physical practice, and that doing both is more effective than either alone.” So now that science is behind this, set aside time each day to picture exactly what you want. Visualize the interview going perfectly and being offered the job. Imagine yourself accepting the position. Getting what you want is a mental thing too, and seeing it happen in your head can make the whole process run smoothly.
If all else fails, it’s important to remember that the person interviewing you has also gone through a ton of interviews. He or she also had sweaty palms once, and probably stuttered a few times when answering a question. Interviewers have also frantically searched for job interview tips, and they know that it’s not an easy thing to go through. If you can keep in mind that you’re both human and take them down from the perfection pedestal, it’ll be easier to talk with them.
All images via Getty
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