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12 Tips to Stay Calm During Interview

Hello fellow job seekers and interviewees! If you’ve ever felt the rush of nerves before a job interview, you’re in good company. I’ve been there, and I understand the mix of excitement and anxiety that comes with it. In this personal account, I’ll take you through my journey of conquering interview jitters and finding the confidence I needed.

12 tips that helped me during interview anxiety

Picture sweaty palms, a racing heart, and a mind on overdrive – that was me before interviews. Learning that this reaction is a normal part of our biology helped me put things into perspective. Dr. Tamar Chansky’s explanation that our brains treat high-stakes situations as threats, whether it’s a job interview or a tiger encounter, was eye-opening.

  1. The Stakes and Self-WorthAndy Teach’s insight hit home: job interviews aren’t just about landing a position, they’re about validating our self-worth and contributing to something bigger. The fear of not getting the job can send ripples through our confidence and financial stability. Recognizing this link between job success and our well-being was a turning point for managing my interview anxiety.
  1. Preparation- As a career coach, I’ve seen the transformative power of preparation. Ashley Strausser’s advice on researching the company and interviewers resonated. Knowledge gave me confidence. I learned that aligning my skills with the role’s requirements wasn’t just important for them – it reassured me too.
  1. Practice Makes Prepared- As a career coach, I often recommend practice to my clients, and I followed my own advice. Instead of memorizing answers, I outlined key points I wanted to convey. Simulating interviews, either with a friend or in front of a mirror, helped me refine my responses and body language.
  1. Taking Control of the Unknown- The unknown can amplify nervousness, so I took charge where I could. I mapped my route, double-checked my attire, and contacted HR for clarification on any uncertainties. These steps reduced last-minute panic and helped me feel more in control.
  1. Embracing the Conversation– I shifted my mindset from “interview” to “conversation.” This mental switch eased the pressure. Both sides are seeking compatibility, after all. Remembering this human aspect helped me relax and focus on connecting.
  1. The Power of Positivity and Confidence– Visualizing success, deep breathing, and self-encouragement became my routine. Confidence isn’t just appealing to interviewers – it’s a reminder to yourself that you’re capable. These techniques, like the ones I share with my clients, transformed my outlook.
  1. Coping with Mistakes and Unpredictability- Accepting that mistakes happen is liberating. Employers value resilience and adaptability. Instead of fixating on potential errors, I focused on my strengths and purpose, channeling nervous energy into showcasing my abilities
  1. Remembering That Other Opportunities Await– Realizing the world of opportunities is vast was liberating. Andy Teach’s advice not to put all my eggs in one basket hit home. If one interview didn’t lead to a job, I knew there were more chances waiting for me.
stay calm during interview

Photo Courtesy by Alex Green via Pexels

Reflecting on my journey, I see growth and transformation. Interview nerves can be channeled into a confident stride. Preparation, practice, and a positive mindset were my companions. If you’re stepping into the interview arena, know that you’re not alone. While navigating the world of job interviews, it’s important to remember that the process is a two-way street. As you focus on presenting your skills and qualifications, it’s equally valuable to consider the perspective of the interviewer. Let’s take a moment to step into their shoes and understand what they’re looking for during an interview.

1. Assessing Cultural Fit– Interviewers are not only evaluating your technical skills but also assessing whether you’re a good fit for the company culture. They’re seeking someone who aligns with the organization’s values, mission, and working style. It’s your opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the company and showcase how you’ll contribute to their team dynamic.

2. Exploring Soft Skills– Beyond qualifications, interviewers are interested in your soft skills. They want to see how you communicate, collaborate, and handle challenges. Be prepared to share examples that highlight your adaptability, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork. These qualities are often as critical as technical expertise.

3. Evaluating Passion and Motivation- Interviewers aim to gauge your genuine interest in the role and the company. They’re looking for candidates who are excited about the opportunity and motivated to make a meaningful impact. Use this chance to express your passion and share how the role aligns with your career aspirations.

4. Analyzing Problem-Solving Abilities- Chances are, you’ll encounter hypothetical scenarios or situational questions that test your problem-solving skills. Interviewers want to see how you approach challenges, think on your feet, and arrive at solutions. Walk them through your thought process and showcase your ability to handle complex situations.

5. Understanding Career Goals– Interviewers often inquire about your long-term career goals. This isn’t just to assess your ambition; it’s also to ensure the role aligns with your aspirations. Sharing your goals helps interviewers understand how the company can contribute to your professional growth and development.

6. Communication and Listening Skills- How you articulate your thoughts and actively listen during the interview speaks volumes. Interviewers are evaluating your communication skills, including your ability to convey ideas clearly and engage in meaningful dialogue. Practice concise yet comprehensive responses to ensure effective communication.

7. Confidence and Adaptability- While interview nerves are common, interviewers want to see your ability to remain composed under pressure. They’re assessing your confidence and adaptability, traits that are crucial in high-pressure work environments. Remember that displaying calmness during the interview sends a positive signal about your ability to handle challenging situations.

Understanding the interview process from the interviewer’s viewpoint empowers you to tailor your responses to their expectations. By addressing these key areas, you’ll present a well-rounded image that resonates with the company’s needs and values. 

I want to emphasize that job interview nerves are a shared experience among candidates of all backgrounds and expertise levels. It’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety when faced with the prospect of showcasing your abilities and potential to a potential employer.

Remember that preparation and practice are your best allies in combating nervousness. Researching the company, understanding your own strengths, and envisioning success can help you approach interviews with confidence. As a career coach, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of these strategies, helping individuals not only manage their nerves but also shine during interviews.

Furthermore, don’t underestimate the power of turning an interview into a conversation. As a recruiter, I can attest that we’re not just evaluating your skills; we’re also interested in understanding how you fit into our company culture and contribute to our mission.

Lastly, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your career journey, remember that there’s an abundance of opportunities out there. A single interview doesn’t define your worth or potential. As both a career coach and a recruiter, I encourage you to approach each interview as a chance to learn and grow, whether it results in a job offer or not.

stay calm during interview

Photo Courtesy by Alex Green via Pexels

Ready to Take the Next Step? Here’s Your Action Plan. 

By embracing these resources, you’ll not only conquer your interview nerves but also position yourself for success. Remember, I’m here to guide you every step of the way. Let’s transform your career journey together!

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