Do you have a job interview coming up? Are you feeling stressed? Although we respond all in our own unique way to different kind of situations and stressors, it is pretty normal to find yourself a bit nervous before an upcoming interview. The stakes are high, because this one conversation could possibly open the door to a new and exciting career.
A little stress doesn´t hurt. It makes you more alert. However being too stressed will have the opposite effect. Through this article we want to equip you with some solid advice on how to reduce your nerves and stay calm during an interview so you can focus on presenting yourself in the best possible way to your future company. One secret that we can already reveal is that it is not about reducing the stress. It is about learning how to handle the stress in such a way that it enables you to perform well. Let´s jump into this material!
As the saying goes: forewarned is forearmed. The more information you have about the company, the job requirements, the people who work there, etc., the more confident you will feel when entering the interview. Familiarize yourself with the company and its history. Try to find out the culture within company and what they are exactly looking for in their new employees. Visualize your findings so you can find the needed information at any given moment. Don’t forget to keep simple details, like the address of the company or the coordinates of the people you will talk to, right at hand as well.
Stress doesn´t happen without a cause. Although it might be clear for you that the upcoming interview is causing you the stress, it doesn´t hurt to dig a little deeper to understand what kind of thoughts are causing your adrenaline to rush. In the end it is all in your mind.
Take the time to write down all the things that are going on in your head. What are your worst-case scenarios? Which fears are floating upon your stress rush? Are you afraid to spill coffee over your interviewee? Do you have insecurities about the languages you speak? Make your list as complete as possible. Then, turn all your fears and scenarios into positive affirmations. The fear of spilling coffee is actually the desire to come across as a confident person. The insecurities about your languages mean that you want to show your future manager that you meet the qualifications for the job. Reading these sentences, you will realize that it is actually super normal to be wanting to make a good impression and therefore feel a little nervous.
Use stress to your power. Often we view stress as a bad thing that needs to be avoided. Sometimes noticing that we are stressed, causes us to be even more stressed as we start to stress about our stress. Instead of thinking of stress as a negative state of being, try to approach it as a power tool. Isn’t it amazing how our bodies prepare us for situations like this by rushing a little extra adrenaline and by literally exciting our body? Stress enables you to perform better, so let it do its job and embrace it. Just make sure to rest well after the finishing the interview so that your body can restore from its heightened, more alert state.
Did you know that we tend to breathe differently when we are stressed? Most people start breathing quicker and less profound. As our lungs are one of our primary instruments to reconnect with our body, paying attention to our breathing can help in managing our stress better. Slow and profound breathing ensures more oxygen in your blood which automatically makes you feel more relaxed and helps with thinking more clearly. There are different breathing exercises you can do to bring some calmness to your body right before jumping into the adrenaline of your interview. Box breathing, for example, is a deep breathing technique that you can practice to clear the mind, relax the body, and improve focus.
As we discussed throughout the article, stress is a normal reaction to an upcoming interview. However it doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your goals or staying focused. Instead you can use stress as an ally to enhance your performance. We know you’ll do a great job if you prepare, envision and breathe!