6 Tips For Settling Your Nerves Before A Job Interview
Job interviews can strike fear and anxiety in the heart of most self-assured humans: there’s often a fair bit riding on them, they can be pretty daunting, and somehow they can make you feel like you’re in high school all over again. But don’t worry, you aren’t alone – almost everyone feels nervous before (and during) – a job interview.
Chances are, you’re either looking for a job right now or will be in the next year or two. So you have to learn how to work with looming job interviews, rather than against them. Settle in and take note of our tips to calm your nerves before a big interview.
#1 Google is your BFFL
I mean, this is true in most situations – but it’s particularly applicable here. As soon as you get the call, start doing your research. Google the company you’re interviewing for, and read every single thing you can find.
Search for the names of the people who are interviewing you, and embrace your inner stalker by trying to find them on social media. Seek them out on Twitter or LinkedIn and scroll and scroll and scroll. Find out what makes them tick and what makes them mad, jot down some similar interests. This may all sound a little bit creepy, but trust me, it works – I once aced a job interview because the interviewer and I shared a love of Jane the Virgin.
#2 You probably don’t have to wear the heels
Advice about job interviews often centres around your outfit – playin’ up the corporate digs for a day to appear like you have it all together. But what that advice doesn’t cover is how important it is to be comfortable when you walk into that interview room.
The weirder you feel about your outfit, the more your mind will focus on it – and your interviewer will be able to tell if you aren’t at ease. So, if you’re buying a new outfit for the day, make sure it fits properly and isn’t too far a throw from what you would usually wear. If you don’t usually wear heels, ditch them altogether – or if you think they are necessary, find a comfy pair and wear them in – don’t just tackle them on the day. If you’re a dude that isn’t used to long-sleeved stuffy shirts, stick with a short one and throw a jacket over the top. Don’t suffocate yourself in the name of a new job.
#3 Prep, prep, prep
You’ve stalked your potential employers on Twitter, you’ve sorted an outfit and interview day is looming: it’s time to prepare. Come up with a question or two for the interviewer. Most interviewers will ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview, and the default is to simply thank them and decline. But, speaking up and asking a question shows initiative and confidence.
Brainstorm a question or two the night before; nothing too in depth, but something that shows you have done your research. Be prepared for questions that put you on the spot, and practice a few answers to boost your confidence. A question that people often trip up on is that ol’ classic, “what do you think your weaknesses are?” It’s a doozy, and it’s designed to throw you – so it’s a good idea to think about it beforehand.
#4 Find your chill
If you are prone to anxiety or know that interviews stress you out, make sure you address it the night before rather than the day of. Figure out what tactics you will use on the day to calm your nerves and make it through – basically, come up with a game plan.
You probably know what works best for you, but breathing techniques, meditation, and being as clued up as possible are all good tips. Treat yourself well, and don’t spend the wee hours of the morning cramming for your interview – there’s only so much you can cover. Also, make sure you get enough sleep – it sounds simple, but it’s so incredibly important.
#5 Be an extrovert for a day
Ugh, extroverts, am I right? Just kidding. If you’re naturally a little bit introverted, or just aren’t all that comfortable in interview or test situations, try to draw strength from your extrovert heroes. I highly recommend channeling Amy Poehler’s character in Parks and Recreation – huge broad smile, exclaim how great it is to meet your interviewer, work on a stance that makes you look completely comfortable in your own skin.
Or think like Kanye – he would never quiver at the sight of a steely interviewer. Perhaps don’t go in quite as arrogant as Kanye, but list your achievements with pride, and don’t play down your strengths.
#6 Remember this isn’t all there is
It’s easy to get caught up in the potential of a new gig – maybe you’ve been searching for weeks or months, maybe you need to get out of a toxic job, or perhaps you’re heading out into the big bad world of employment for the first time. Whatever your position, just remember that if you don’t get this job, there’ll be another one down the line.
Don’t pin all your hopes on this particular gig, and try not to put too much pressure on yourself – after all, the company thought you had enough potential to give you an interview in the first place, and that’s an achievement in itself. You got this.
Chloe Papas is a journalist and writer based in Victoria. You can find her on Twitter here.