Once you’re waiting for your interview, it’s normal to feel nervous. You’ve worked so hard, you know you’d be a good fit. If wishing and worrying could get you the job, you’d have it right now.
Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies when it comes to job interviews. When we worry, we focus on the negative instead of seeing the positive. We think about what could go wrong instead of thinking positive to keep calm.
If you’re nervous and wishing this interview were over already, you’re not alone. If you’re scared to submit your resume because you’re scared of the interview process, you’re not alone. However, you don’t have to stay nervous. Instead:
1. Practice your introduction. Don’t just practice answering questions. Practice introducing yourself while wearing your interview clothes and shoes (and make sure your interviewer is dressed up too). Practice coming into the room with confidence, shaking hands (no limp fish or knuckle-breaking handshakes), and making small talk before the interview starts. If you practice feeling comfortable while introducing yourself, you’ll be able to weed out any nervous habits (smiling too much, cracking your knuckles, biting your nails, tapping your feet, you get the idea) in advance. That way, your interviewers will see and hear you rather than your nervous tics—and you’ll feel calmer too.
2. Practice paying attention. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not answering the question you were asked. Nerves can lead you to answer the question you wish you’d gotten, or to ramble on—ending with a tangent about your pet’s recent visit to the vet. Your interviewers may like cats, but they didn’t ask to hear about Fluffy. These interviewers only have so long with you… make sure they are getting the you that’s on your resume, the person ready for the job.
3. Practice positivity, in and out of the interview. Talk kindly to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for little mistakes. Don’t be self-deprecating or put yourself down for something that isn’t your fault. Compliment yourself for the things you do well, the talents that make you who you are. How we talk to ourselves in private comes out in stressful situations. If you’re kind to yourself and build your confidence from the inside, it will show without you having to worry about faking it on the outside.
Nerves are a natural part of the interview process. They're like your body’s way of reminding you how much you care! If you practice these three tips, you’ll make sure that your passion and care come through loud and clear—and those nerves will just be a whisper instead of a roar.
Story by Kathi Bohm