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Being comfortable and controlling anxiety during an interview is important because it allows you to articulate your abilities and interests in a job more clearly. Managers use interviews as an opportunity to gauge how well a potential candidate behaves under pressure so you want to appear calm. Much of your comfort during an interview is actually based on your preparation, though a few maneuvers during the interview can help.
Knowing what to expect and preparing yourself ahead of time can put your mind more at ease before you walk in for an interview. Researching the company and job and comparing them to your abilities and strengths helps you plan your strategy. Calling the company's human resources department to find out the preferred dress and the interview's format allows you to envision your experience to ease nerves. Practicing and getting feedback from a friend helps you iron out the kinks in your interview techniques and responses.
The First Few Moments
The first few moments of your interview can greatly affect your comfort as you progress. First, arrive on time. The tension of showing up late, or even at the last minute, creates tension. Even if you feel a bit nervous, enter confidently, with a friendly smile and eye contact, shake hands firmly and offer a pleasant greeting. Take cues from the hiring manager on where to sit and get as relaxed and comfortable in the chair as you can while maintaining a firm and confident posture with your back straight.
Use Small Talk
Much of the anxiety and discomfort over interviewing relates to uncertainty about the interviewer's personality and the questions that will be asked.To get past this, attempt to engage in some small talk before the nitty gritty questions begin. You may have to prepare a few scripted conversational questions about the company or recent events. You may also notice items in the manager's office and offer a compliment. Finding a mutual interest like sports or music can spark a conversation. If you succeed in creating small talk, you not only build rapport, which helps, but you also work out some of your nerves and fears before the hard questions begin.
Take the Floor
Maintain a confident and positive attitude during your interview. If you are well-rested and practiced, you should be ready to present your best abilities. Maintain eye contact when listening to questions and answering questions. This helps you feel connected to the interviewer and allows you to possibly gauge the reaction to you and your answers. Relax your body and breath deeply and consistently without going overboard and looking disinterested or awkward.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.
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