How can I calm my job interview nerves?
Most people dread job interviews, but by approaching them in the right way and taking note of a few key things, you can make sure you don't freeze on the big day.
Being prepared is one way of making sure there are no nasty surprises. Find out about the company's vision, products, culture and the kind of people who work there. Then use that information along with the job description to provide examples of why you’re a suitable candidate.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
You should already know your CV like the back of your hand, but there's no harm in giving it one last read so you can immediately answer any questions about your past employment and education.
There’s no way you can prepare for every question they throw at you, but if you’ve thought about possible responses to the more common questions, you will be less likely to be tongue tied during your interview.
Getting a good night's sleep before the interview is important so you feel fresh. Try not to leave your planning to the last minute. Sort out your interview attire and polish your shoes before having a nice bath and a long sleep. You may want a swift drink to help you doze off, but you definitely don't want to be waking up with a hangover so keep it to one.
Going to bed in a good mood can also help so put on your favourite feel-good film in the evening so you're smiling as you're sleeping.
Travelling to your interview can be stressful. Try to do a trial run before the day of your interview so you know exactly how long it takes and can plan accordingly. Rushing into the building 10 minutes late after running 2 miles isn't going to put you in their good books.
If you're made to wait in reception before you're taken into the interview room, use that time to have a few deep breaths and think about some small talk you can have with your interviewer. Even something as simple as commenting on the nice decor in the office or the good recent weather helps break the ice and put you at ease.
Acting the part
Even if you’re not feeling confident, make sure you act confident. Always try to use appropriate body language in your interview, such as making a positive (but not finger crushing) handshake, looking your interviewer in the eye, and sitting up straight in your chair.
You may not be given the option, but if you can, try and get your interviewer arranged in the morning. That way you don't have the whole day for things to run over in your mind and you can get it out of the way. If you have an interview arranged in your lunch hour you might feel rushed to get out in time, and if you are having it after work you may have had a stressful day - and so might your interviewer!
Finally, the best bit of advice is don't worry, just relax and be yourself. the job interview is as much for you to see if you like the company as it is for them to see if they like you, so go in with an open mind.