Even a seasoned professional may feel a bit nervous before an interview. Read on for some practical suggestions to help calm your nerves so that you may appear polished and poised for your meeting. While meditation and deep breathing exercises can help us reduce anxiety, we often forget about two basic practices that truly bring stress relief and minimize interview anxiety:
1) Come early. Show up to the interview site 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Sit casually in your car or on an outside bench until 10 minutes before the interview. When you are rushing to an interview and worrying about making it on time, you add anxiety and stress that can easily be avoided.
2) Come prepared. Take time to research the company and the position. Be prepared to speak about the industry and related trends. Prepare (and practice) answers to common questions, like: What would your friend say is your best quality? or What is your strongest leadership quality? Be ready to answer questions that demonstrate that you have the necessary skills to do the job, based on the job description. Also, jot down any questions that you have for the interviewer. (This shows her that you are prepared.) When we prepare for what is to come, we are less stressed and less anxious in the actual moment.
If you are still nervous, remember that you were given the interview for a reason. You are a contender for this position. So, take a deep breath and be yourself! Don’t be afraid to highlight your areas of expertise with relevant examples. And, show the interviewer that you are interested in both the company and role. Remember the importance of direct eye contact and positive body language, too! Finally, reassure yourself that other opportunities will come if you are not the best fit for this role.