How to Keep Calm Before an Interview
It’s the night before your big interview, and you can’t sleep because your mind will not stop racing thinking about how you might perform. Not to worry! We’ve all been there. From our 30+ years of experience, we’ve pulled together some helpful tips to keep you calm before the big day.
Research the Company
The first step you can take if you have not already, is do your research on the company. Although it’s a given, you should look up the prospective organization online before you think about applying. If you haven’t done so yet, it is better late than never. Feeling more prepared for an interview can ease your mind from the unknown and walking into an interview for a job that you don’t know much about.
It’s not as easy as it sounds to just drop it, so sometimes the best way to stop focusing on something is to focus on something else. The easiest way to do this is to find a source of entertainment and dive into it for the rest of the night.
For starters, you could finally start reading that book that you bought a while back and have been meaning to read; or, if you need something that easily grabs your attention, watching TV is a great option that requires just a little less focus than reading. But aside from entertainment, you could distract yourself by jumping back into one of your favorite hobbies, taking care of some chores that you have been putting off, or enjoying the company of family and friends.
Don’t Sweat it, Just Sweat it!
Getting exercise is a fantastic way to distract yourself from the things that worry you. Even most psychologists recommend exercise to their patients, expressing that it can help reduce anxiety and depression as well as improve their self-esteem and cognitive function. While exercising, you are focused on your drive to finish your run, bike ride, weight-lifting session, etc. You are tuned in to the present moment and not focusing on much else. As a complement to exercising is listening to your favorite playlist! This can take your mind off any negative anticipations even further.
Get a Bite to Eat
There is a reason why it’s called “comfort food!” Although it is practically the opposite of our last suggestion, it can be equally as effective. Our brains are naturally wired to produce stress-inducing hormones that create negative emotions like anxiety, depression, or anger; hence the term “hangry.” So, having something to eat, whether it is a filling meal or just your favorite snack, could be your solution.
Visualize Your Success
Some would argue that the best way to find success is to manifest it or think it into reality. It sounds silly but thinking about your success happening will in the end be more beneficial to you than thinking about yourself doing terribly.
Close your eyes and visualize yourself walking into your interview confidently. You give the hiring manager the most impactful handshake of the day; firm, but not aggressive or overbearing. You don’t necessarily have to imagine the finer details of what exactly they will say, but how you speak. The tone in your voice, proper fluctuations, and laughing at the right moment(s) are noteworthy examples of what exactly you could focus on. Additionally, envision the end of the interview where you shake the interviewer’s hand. Are you imagining shaking their hand the same way as when you first introduced yourselves, are you thanking them again for taking the time out of their busy day to sit down and interview you for the opening?
Are you on edge because you are unsure of what to expect or how to prepare yourself for your first interview in a long time? Similar to our previous suggestion on researching the company, you should “research” yourself!
Think about your experience, skills, certifications, knowledge, etc., that make you a well-qualified candidate. Use all of this to create an extensive list. Not only will it help you realize just how qualified you are for the role but understanding the entire scope of work in your career will help you answer questions during your interview such as “Tell me why you are the best fit for this role,” or “Tell me about yourself” (which we have another blog on how to answer).
Understand the Possibilities
Some would argue that having a positive mindset is the best way to secure a job, or that you only need to apply to one job if you are confident enough that you are the best candidate. But there is always the chance that you may be passed over for a multitude of reasons other than your qualifications, including your first impression.
Every candidate in the applicant pool has the same numerical chance of securing the job as the other; whether it be 1 in 5 applicants or 1 in 15 applicants. Therefore, being confident can help ease our mind of anxieties and/or nervousness. Having more interviews for additional opportunities can add some reassurance as well to stay relaxed. It allows you to appreciate that not doing so great during the interview is not the end of the world and it’s not necessarily your “fault.” You can always work on what you believe was the faulty part of this interview prior to your next one.
Above all, you’re qualified, competent, and the right candidate for the position! There’s a reason you were chosen for an interview. Following some of these tips will ease that anxiety and calm your nerves going into the big day. Now go ahead, take a deep breath, and go confidently into your next interview.
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