It’s hiring season! Of course, you are excited about the endless opportunities the current market offers. But, let’s be honest. Interviewing for a new job can be like going to the dentist. It’s nerve-wracking even if you’ve been on several interviews. Every interview is unique as is every company and every interviewer! Plus, you have to expect the unexpected like harsh weather, intense traffic and random technical questions! All of these seem to add even more stress. While it’s common to feel nervous or anxious, you must manage your stress if you want an offer at the end of that job interview rainbow.
This article includes proven strategies to reduce stress on your next interview.
Strategy 1: P-Squared = Plan x Prepare
Practice your interview responses and prepare for anticipated questions. Gather and lay out your outfit, resumes, portfolio and anything else you need 1-2 nights before. Go to bed early and set your alarm clock. Plan to do any exercise and spiritual work the day before and the morning of your interview. Figure out the logistics for interview day and aim to arrive in the area at least an hour early. You don’t have to check in for the interview that early. Rather, you can use that time to review your resume, grab water and to feel settled.
Strategy 2: Look Good!
First impressions can make or break you on an interview. Take care in your appearance from head to toe. Your interview is not the time to pull out your casual Friday jeans or your favorite club dress. In fact, you should aim to project a professional image by wearing a clean black or navy-blue suit with clean, scuff free shoes. There is a list of obvious interview dress don’ts: wrinkled, soiled clothing, gym shoes, open toe sandals, visible undergarments, heavy costume jewelry, strong perfume or cologne. Dress to impress.
Strategy 3: Believe in Yourself!
This is the most important. To tame interview related stress, you have to BE confident in your abilities. Notice I didn’t say arrogant. I also didn’t say “act” confident. Rather, I want you to BE confident. Ideally, your confidence should come from a source greater than you. It should not depend on your external environment…what you or anyone else did or said. But many people struggle with confidence especially in unknown, stressful situations…like a job interview. If you need a jolt of confidence, pull out your awards, recommendations, certifications, degrees, offer letters, performance reviews, thank you letters, etc. and let them remind you of your past successes. Bet on yourself by basing your future success on your past accomplishments! If you did it then, you can and will do it again!
Strategy 4: Phone A Friend
In the game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, contestants were allowed to use the phone a friend lifeline when they got stuck on a question. Often, this friend would give the contestant the right answer and put them one step closer to winning the jackpot! When stressed about an upcoming interview, phone a trusted friend that will allow you to vent, put you at ease and help you focus.
In order to excel in your interview, use any or all of these strategies to reduce stress.