Prepping for an interview but just can’t shake off the nerves?
Whether it is your first time or you have gone through countless interviews, feeling jittery before the big event is completely normal. While being a little nervous can be a good thing, the best way to cure the fear is to properly prepare yourself.
In this article, we’ll outline seven ways to get your mind and body ready for that next step in your job hunt.
1. Create a checklist for yourself of items to bring and tasks to complete before the day of the interview.
Creating an interview checklist for yourself can help take some of the pressure off on the big day. Making a list of items you will need to bring or have on hand, such as copies of your resume and any portfolio pieces, can help ensure that you are organized and prepared when you arrive. Checklists are great tools for ensuring that nothing gets overlooked in the interview process— from packing to prepping and everything in between!
2. Research the company so you know what they do, their values, and where you fit in.
Anytime you interview with a company, it’s important to go in knowing the basics of who the company is, what they do, and what they stand for. The knowledge will allow you to better understand how you fit in the organization. This, in turn, can help you stand out as a stellar candidate. Coming into your interview knowing that you did your research can ease your nerves and give you the confidence to answer any question that comes your way. Plus, diving into a company’s social media or “About Us” page can help you see the humans that work there, making the process seem a little less intimidating.
3. Prepare answers to common questions that are likely to be asked.
A big source of stress before an interview can come from not knowing what to expect— especially when it comes to the questions that you’ll be asked. To help alleviate some of this pressure, prepare answers to some of the most common questions asked in interviews.
Some questions commonly asked in interviews include:
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Tell me about yourself
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why are you interested in this company?
- What inspires you?
- Can you describe a time you (collaborated, communicated, led, took a risk that paid off, etc.) in the past?
- What is an achievement you are most proud of?
This is also an area where knowing about a company will pay off. Think about the company’s mission, products, and objectives and what they may ask you related to those things.
For example, say you’re interviewing for a tech startup that is driven by the mission to tutor high school students in STEM subjects. In addition to technical questions about the specific role, you may be asked a question or two about why education is important to you or how you live out the company’s mission to teach others.
This is also a great time to check out some employer review sites. Some sites, like JobSage, allow companies to share video insights that prepare jobseekers for their interview!
4. Visualize a good outcome and practice positive self-talk.
One good way to calm your nerves before an interview is to practice visualizing a positive outcome and engaging in self-affirmations. Visualizing yourself achieving success and practicing positive self-talk can help you to feel more confident and relaxed when it comes time for the interview— and science backs this up.
Before going into your interview, tell yourself that you are qualified and prepared for whatever comes your way in the interview. Try not to worry about other candidates or their qualifications. Just think about all that you bring to the table and how you are a good fit for the company.
5. Make sure you get enough sleep in order to be well rested for the big day.
Sleep is vital and if you don’t get enough of it, you can expect your performance to suffer. Lack of proper rest affects our mental agility, leaving us less-equipped to face the challenging tasks that come with job hunting. Furthermore, it can lead to an increase in stress levels which can prevent us from doing our best work. Taking care of your body and mind today means setting yourself up for success tomorrow.
6. Hydrate and eat a good meal beforehand.
We can’t overlook the impact that nutritious food and water have on the mind and body! Eating something healthy before the interview can help to ground yourself, boost your energy, and improve your concentration. Aim for something nutritious that will give you sustained energy like a piece of fruit or a light snack such as nuts or hummus and vegetables. Avoid sugary snacks that may give you an initial boost of energy, but leave you feeling tired soon after.
7. Before your interview, get some exercise, meditate, or listen to music.
Nervousness may ramp up in the hours before you’re set to meet with the company. One great way to get into the right headspace is to take some time to exercise, meditate, or listen to music before your interview. A brief walk or jog can increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, enabling cognitive clarity. If exercise isn’t an option, meditating or listening to your favorite playlist could have the same calming effects. Either way, find a few minutes prior to your big moment and give yourself a wellness boost!
Interview day can seem like an intimidating process, but these seven tips can help you stay calm under pressure and make sure that you’re prepared for whatever comes your way. By taking the time to equip yourself ahead of time and setting priorities for yourself, you can start your journey to a new job feeling confident in knowing you have done everything within your control!