You have an important job interview or presentation but the jitters are getting the better of you. Here are a few tips on how to calm your nerves and nail that interview.
“Interview jitters can be alleviated by simply having a change of thought about the interview,” says employment expert Aaron Boyce, founder of Team Success, Inc., a non-profit organization formed to assist the community by providing employment and small business workshops, seminars, retreats, job fairs, conventions. “Think of the interview as merely a conversation between two people – you and the interviewer. The topic of discussion is one that you know pretty well – you and your skills. Don’t try to impress anyone but instead provide them with information they can use about yourself, your skills, and your abilities.”
Take some time before the interview to unwind, even if it is right before you meet the interviewer. Close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing. Do a few deep-breathing exercises.
Don’t just think like you, yourself–think like the interviewer. If you understand what the interviewer will ask, you will be ready to answer. “Know what they need and how you can provide it. Do your research so that during the conversation, you will discover how you can best help them find success in their company, department, or business,” explains Boyce.
Don’t cram your schedule during the day of an interview or important presentation. In fact, plan your day around the appointment. This way you won’t feel rushed and you will be able to focus on the task at hand.
It is important, or course, that you present yourself confidently. No one will take you seriously, if you don’t take yourself seriously. “Be confident of your skills and ability and your ability to present. Speak as if you were talking to your buddies about your favorite sports team or your favorite movie,” Boyce advises. “Be emphatic, informational, and provide reasons why you are the one to be chosen. If you are not confident in your skills, why would anyone else be?”
To help boost your confidence, prepare a few questions and answers before the interview. This way you will be prepared when and if the interviewer asks you those same questions. Also, look the part. If you feel successful, you will act successful. “Dress and act the part. When you dress professionally, you feel professional as well. So don’t dress for the job, dress for the interview. Bring a pen and notepad to take notes and jot down questions you can ask. Be prepared with extra resumes and questions from your research,” says Boyce.
And when you are asked a question, listen closely to make sure you understand fully what is being asked. Sometimes interviewers will throw in a trick question or phrase a question differently than you expect. Don’t just ramble off your answer. Make sure your answer is concise and well thought out.
So prepare. Play the part. Focus. And ace the interview.