We all know those pre-interview jitters and while these are considered “normal” they can get in the way of projecting a centered and calm feeling during an interview. Having the ability to put the interviewer at ease throughout the interview process is a great way of securing your spot in their office, but how do you do this when you are internally struggling with nerves?
Here are some great ways to find your own inner peace and stay calm and centered before and during an interview. Use these tips to hone and refine your process along the way.
Practice An Empowering Ritual
Rituals are different from routines, so don’t think that drinking tea like you do every morning will empower you any differently. A ritual is an established procedure meant for a special event or rite, in this case an interview. Since interviews don’t happen very often, establishing a ritual that makes you feel empowered is important. Consider rituals that help you get the jitters out, allow yourself to feel silly (such as a voice warmup), and even comforting yourself through breathing exercises and empowering poses, called “power-posing,” that can project empowerment, even if you are not feeling it. One such suggestion by Amy Cuddy, in a now famous TED Talk, is to try on “The Performer.” Before the interview, throw your hands in the air and widen your stance, as if you’re soaking in the applause after an encore performance. Do it in the elevator or stairwell on your way up to the office, or in the bathroom before checking in with reception. Hold the pose for two minutes to set those hormonal changes in motion and give you the confidence you need to ace the interview.
Changing the way you are feeling and thinking is an important part of the interview process. Going into the interview focusing on the negative “What ifs” could leave you taking the negative framework and words into the interview process itself. Instead, consider adding some positive mindset changes into the empowering ritual, to help. Think about how you normally process negative emotions and use the same coping techniques to pull yourself out of the spiral. This could include music, pictures of vacations, certain types of food, and smells. Even taking a walk or enjoying some brief exercise can help boost your endorphins and get the positive feelings flowing.
Be Prepared Ahead of Time
Remembering to prepare BEFORE your interview is important. This means starting to research the company and take notes a few days before the interview. Cramming last minute can leave you stressed and forgetful the next day. It can also lead to a sleepless night before the interview. Along with writing down notes about the company, you can also write down how YOUR skills relate back to the accomplishments of the company itself. Remember that you can also take your notes into the meeting and reference them as you are talking.
While these are always good strategies, talking with a friend that reminds you of your strengths and brings out your sense of calm is also a good idea. Make sure you are listening to the right music and also know the area before the interview, so you are not arriving late are important, too. Now go out and land that interview!!