You finally landed an interview for your ideal job. Now you find yourself in the candidate holding tank five minutes before it all goes down. Your insides are churning, heart-pounding, palms sweaty -- and your brain seems incapable of reading its own resume. You tell yourself to breathe, but nothing seems to help. Your name is called. The interview is over before it began.
Anxiety is an interview killer...and a common problem. Job seekers have every right to be anxious about an impending interview. After all, the competition is often killer and your livelihood could be at stake. But the last thing a hiring manager wants is for you to be a bundle of nerves.
Avoid letting your anxiety get the best of you with these seven pre-interview tactics.
1. Have a game plan
A day or two before your interview, scope out the company building. If you're driving, find parking and learn exactly where you'll need to be the day of the interview. On the day of, give yourself a generous amount of time to arrive at the interview location and get settled. Note: This doesn't mean showing up to the actual interview an hour early. Use this time to take a walk to soothe your nerves or review your answers to potential questions. Realizing there are factors prior to the big interview that are completely within your control can help you gain your composure.
2. Engage in conversation
The day of your interview, surround yourself with friends or family who make you feel good about yourself. By engaging with people in positive conversation throughout the day you'll be warmed up by the time you reach your interview. A positive mood is infectious, and warming up your voice beforehand will also help you articulate effectively when it's time to answer questions.
3. Boost your mood
Create a playlist of songs that pump you up or give you confidence. If listening to "Eye of The Tiger" on repeat makes you feel like you can accomplish anything, then go for it. Or try listening to some stand-up comedy on your way to the interview. A good belly laugh can ease anxiety and fear along with relieving stress.
4. Fuel up
The cliché is true: Eating a healthy breakfast kick-starts your brain and elevates concentration and productivity throughout the morning. Include a "brain food" like oatmeal or fruit in your morning meal and you'll have even more of a mental edge when you're preparing for your big moment.
5. Get moving
Exercising a few hours before the interview will release endorphins that relieve stress. Plus, it will give you some time to visualize yourself in complete control of every single interview question while you conquer the elliptical machine.
Visualizing achievement can have a positive impact on the outcome of your performance. Humans stimulate the same portion of the brain when they visualize an action as when they are actually performing an action. So, through use of positive imagery it's possible to prime your brain for a successful interview.
7. Demystify the process
It sounds cheesy, but the interviewer may be just as nervous as you are. He or she may be understaffed and under pressure to fill a position quickly. Remember, however, you were chosen for an interview after proving yourself to be a viable candidate. Don't view the hiring manager as the enemy – or as omnipotent. Instead, see him or her as an equal. Demystifying the process can aid in soothing your interview anxiety.
Interviewing for any position can be a burdensome task. But don't fret, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed before your interview, it is possible to re-gain control over your nerves. Set aside ample time to prepare beforehand to build confidence.