Five Tips for Overcoming the Interview Jitters
Guest Post: – Philip J Reed, on behalf of the Westwood College business management degree program
If you’re feeling jittery about your upcoming interview, you’re not alone. The truth is that even very experienced interviewees often face nervousness in these situations. Feeling nervous is one thing; dealing with it is another. By knowing how to handle your jitters, you will be able to overcome them and increase your odds of having a successful interview. Five terrific tips for pushing through your nervousness are highlighted below.
- Be Prepared – It is crucial to sit down and rehearse common interview questions before sitting down for an actual interview. At the same time, you need to come up with strong, excellent answers to those questions. Have a friend sit down and run through these questions with you several times. Make sure to switch around the order of the questions to ensure that you have everything down pat. When you’re at the actual interview, these rehearsals will be fresh in your mind, and your answers will flow more easily.
- Be Informed – Anxiety is often caused by fear of the unknown. When you don’t know what to expect, you’re more likely to be overcome by nerves. Do as much research about the company as possible to ward this off. Learn about the position for which you are being interviewed in depth. By having a clear concept of the company and the position, your confidence will soar, and your anxiety will be pushed aside.
- Avoid Caffeine – While you don’t want to show up at your interview with bags under your eyes and an extreme lack of energy, you don’t want to be overloaded with caffeine either. Caffeine heightens the effects of nervousness and anxiety. It makes these issues worse. It’s fine to have a cup of coffee in the morning, but just use it to get going for the day. In the hours leading up to your interview, sip water instead. Without huge amounts of caffeine coursing through your veins, you’ll be in a better position to remain calm during your interview.
- Put Yourself in the Interviewer’s Shoes – People often forget that interviewers want the process to go well just as much as they do. With every candidate that sits down, an interviewer is hoping that he or she will be a perfect fit. In other words, the interviewer is pulling for you. Give them what they want by showing that you are calm, collected and ready to do a great job. In the hours before going in for your interview, repeat this idea to yourself again and again: The interviewer doesn’t want you to fail.
- Remember to Breathe – Breathing deeply and purposefully makes it easier to stay calm. Don’t wait until you actually step into the interview room to put this technique to work. Practice deep breathing in the days leading up to the interview. Breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale slowly from your mouth. Be mindful of the air as it moves through your body. Continue to do this during the interview itself. It won’t be apparent to anyone else, and it will keep you grounded. It’s also a good way to stay in the moment. Instead of worrying about the outcome of the interview or ruminating on past failures, focus on the questions and on your breathing.
There’s no question that interviews are stressful. However, it’s not a question of avoiding them…it’s a question of succeeding at them! Those who manage to overcome their nervousness tend to have the easiest time. Implement the tips above to increase your odds of having a smooth, easy, successful interview.