It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious before an interview - job interviews can be incredibly stressful whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran careerist. It’s important to make sure that you’re prepared for when the panic starts to set in, so we’ve gathered some tips to help you prepare for the inevitable jitters during your next job search.
Look after your body
It may sound obvious, but it’s important to get a good night’s sleep before the big day. If you’re exhausted from staying awake all night worrying you won’t be able to fully concentrate on the interview. So, get a decent night’s sleep, drink lots of water and eat a good breakfast of brain foods such as leafy veg, fish and nuts to boost your brainpower before tackling your interview.
Prepare your outfit
Choose a professional outfit ahead of time, and ensure that it’s clean and ironed the day before the interview. We recommend avoiding any uncomfortable clothing as this will only add to your stress, so choose something that looks smart but is also comfortable.
Try power poses
Try channelling your inner superhero by practising some power poses before meeting the interview panel. The idea was popularised by a 2010 scientific study claiming that these power poses increasing testosterone levels and decrease anxiety.
Try to make yourself feel as big as possible my standing tall with your arms above your head to increase your confidence. We recommend doing power poses in private and not as you enter the interview room. You might receive a few strange looks from the interviewer if you do this.
Rationalise your fears
If you’re experiencing particularly negative thoughts or imposter syndrome before your interview, it can be helpful to try to rationalise your fears. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) states that our perspectives on a situation make us anxious rather than the situation itself. Try to replace your negative thoughts about the interview and yourself with positive mantras instead.
For example, if you’re thinking “I’m not qualified or clever enough for this role”, remind yourself that you were offered an interview for a reason. The potential employer already considers you to be a potential candidate for the role - you wouldn’t have been invited to an interview if your CV wasn’t competitive enough.
Remember that you’re just having a conversation
It can be easy to forget that an interview is just a chat with one or two people about your experience and capabilities. Your potential employer is hoping that you’re a good fit for the role so they will want to make a good impression on you and answer your questions throughout the interview, too. Think of some questions to ask during the interview as this can shift the power dynamic and make you feel less intimidated by your interviewer.
By making an effort to be your authentic self during your interview you will appear to be confident and relaxed (even if you secretly want to run for the hills). Use your own voice rather than a public speaking voice, speak slowly and think carefully about the questions you’re being asked. Your interviewer will appreciate it if you seem genuine and engaged while they’re speaking to you.
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