Everyone gets nervous before a job interview. It’s normal. But for some people, it can be a stressful situation.
Job interviews are not a natural situation. You’re wearing an outfit that you may not usually wear. You’re in a strange office, sitting with strangers. And you’re trying to sell yourself to them while trying to decide if this is the right job for you. You’re answering all their questions. You need to think on your feet. It can be pretty full on.
Job interviews are a necessary part of the hiring process. You can master how to stay calm before every job interview with these 5 tips.
1. Prepare yourself in every way possible
Preparation is king! In the days leading up to your job interview do your research. Read the company’s website, recent news updates, newspaper articles and press releases. If you come across words or phrases that you don’t understand, look them up. They’re likely to use the same language during the interview. Study the job description and match it to your CV.
Use LinkedIn to look up your interviewers, look at their work history is and if you have any common ground.
Write down any questions that you might want to ask during the interview into a notepad. It doesn’t matter if they are specific job questions or company questions – write them down.
The day before your job interview, sit down and plan how you’re going to get there. Drive, bus, train? If you plan on driving to the interview, look up the best route, how long it will take and where to park. Add in some buffer time to allow for delays such as roadworks. Driving to where the interview will be the day before will help reduce your stress levels.
If you’re relying on the bus or train, make sure you have the most timetable, and you overestimate the time. Be sure you know where you need to get on and off the bus/train and the walking distance to the interview location. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes for the walk.
Your appearance is your first impression. A few days before your job interview, take out your interview outfit. Make sure there are no visible stains and no smells. Make sure it’s clean and neat. Give your outfit a final check if it needs ironing or steaming do it the night before. Do you have pets? Brush your clothes to remove fur.
Bringing a bag to your job interview is always a good idea. Pack the bag the night before with your wallet or purse, keys, paper CVs and your notepad with questions in it.
Do you need to neaten your beard or hair? Do it the night before. Make the day of the interview as stress-free as possible.
4. Be extra early
There is nothing more stressful than arriving at an interview minutes before it is due to start. Arriving 10-20 minutes early gives you a chance to settle in, calm yourself down and grab a drink of water. If you happen to be in the wrong location, you have enough time to get yourself to where you need to be.
Take it as an opportunity to check out the office. Is it loud and chatty or quiet; casual or corporate; are people friendly or distant? How does it match what you want in a workplace?
5. Get in the zone
OK so you’ve arrived early, and you have 20 minutes to spare. You’re subtly checking out the office. You need to get your head in the zone. Take out the notepad and review your notes on the company and the job. Read over the questions that you have for them.