Whether you’re a politician in the limelight, a big-wig business professional, or a recent college graduate, experiencing a spike in stress or anxiety before an event is perfectly normal. So, if you’ve been suffering from a case of pre-interview jitters, don’t beat yourself up about it. However, you shouldn’t let your nerves consume you and jeopardize your candidacy. To calm the butterflies in your stomach and make a great first impression, here are 6 tips to get you ready for your next job interview.
Perform Your Pre-Interview Prep Work
Slaying your interview requires you to thoroughly research your potential employer before arriving for your interview. By gaining a robust understanding of the company’s value proposition, products and services offered, who their competitors are, and any recent or noteworthy news mentions, you won’t be thrown off guard when asked some basic questions about the employer and role you’re applying for.
Enlist the help of a family member or friend and conduct a mock interview. You should be prepared to answer specific questions like ‘Why are you interested in this opportunity?’ Practicing prior to the interview will help you communicate a more thoughtful, confident response rather than trying to wrack your brain for an answer on the spot. It’s impossible to predict all the curveballs that may be thrown your way during the conversation, but there is no better way to equip yourself for those challenges than by preparing ahead of time.
Pick out Your Interview Ensemble Beforehand
Whether you elect to wear a skirt, suit, or dress pants on the big day, prepare your outfit a day or two ahead of time. Always consult with your interviewer regarding the appropriate attire/dress policy at the company and research what Mother Nature plans on doing weather-wise so you’re dressed to perfection on the big day. Planning your outfit beforehand will remove any garment-related stressors, save you time, and infuse your bones with the confidence you need to nail the interview.
Create a Checklist
Compile a list of tasks you need to complete, or items you plan on bringing with you, before your interview. Review your checklist and make sure you’ve satisfied everything on it the night before. Avoid waiting until the day of your interview in case you forgot to look up directions or print your cover letter/copies of your resume.
Find Your Zen
Often overlooked, yet imperative for alleviating your pre-interview jitters, is putting aside some time to do whatever relaxes you. Whether that means taking a bubble bath, reading a book, listening to music, or exercising, focusing your attention on an enjoyable activity, rather than on your interview, will help temper your nerves. Additionally, to avoid having to stifle a mortifying yawn while the hiring manager is discussing their company culture, make sure you get plenty of sleep.
Get There Early
You may not have control over what the interviewer asks, but you can control when you arrive at the company for your meeting. The general rule of thumb is to check in with the receptionist at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of your interview. This demonstrates that you’re both respectful of the hiring manager’s time and a punctual individual. By giving yourself plenty of room time-wise to get to your interview, you’ll ease your nerves and have a moment to quickly meditate, review notes, or collect yourself before heading inside.
Open Yourself up to New Possibilities
You may have finally scored an interview with an employer you’ve had your sights set on for quite some time. However, don’t limit yourself to the endless possibilities that are out there – some of which you may have yet to consider as a viable option. Being cognizant of the fact that this won’t be your sole opportunity to land a gig with a great employer helps put things into perspective when it’s time for your interview. Whether you think you nailed the interview or you’re cringing in humiliation because you botched one of your answers, this one interview won’t be your last.