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A bad case of the nerves can be a job interview killer. You won’t be at your best and your jittery behavior could turn off your interviewer, who might misinterpret it as a lack of social skills. No matter how anxiety-ridden you are, you can often pump yourself up with a few mental and physical strategies.
Psych yourself up by getting your adrenaline going. Talk a brisk walk around the block before going in to meet the interviewer, or do a quick 15-minute workout if you’re at home and gearing up for a phone interview. You’ll feel invigorated and ready to conquer even the toughest interview questions. In addition, those pre-interview jitters can create pent-up energy and anxiety which you can release with a little physical exertion. Don’t overdo it, however. You don’t want to arrive at the interview out of breath and exhausted.
You’ll feel more confident if you go over all the details before the interview. Ask a friend to help you conduct a mock interview where you can rehearse every aspect of the meeting. Practice shaking the interviewer’s hand, introducing yourself and replying to frequently asked interview questions. Practice as often as you need so that the process feels natural and less awkward. Then, mentally rehearse in the waiting room or while you’re waiting for the interviewer’s call.
When you’re nervous, it’s only natural to picture everything that could go wrong. You might call the interviewer by the wrong name, lose your train of thought while answering a question, knock over the interviewer’s coffee cup or all of the above. Anticipating all the mistakes you could make only makes it more likely you’ll flub up. Instead, mentally picture yourself charming the interviewer, who immediately invites you for a follow-up meeting and, because you’re so calm and collected, eventually offers you the job. It’s a trick professional athletes depend on and it can help you bring your A-game as well.
Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Take another page from the professional athlete’s playbook and give yourself a quick motivational speech before the interview. Remind yourself of all of your accomplishments, no matter how minor they seem or how long ago you achieved them. You’ll go into the interview feeling like a winner and your confidence will portray you as a competent professional who’d be an asset to the company. If you need inspiration, check out notable pep talks from sports movies and pretend the coach is talking only to you.
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