How to calm the pre-interview jitters

It’s job interview time! You’re excited for the opportunity, but then the stress and anxiety start bubbling up and all you want to do is hide under your covers or eat a bowl of cookie dough ice cream. Resist the desire to freak out, keep calm and do the following:

 

How to calm nerves before an interview

 

1. Take deep breaths

Breathing deeply and meditating can really help you refocus and relax yourself. Don’t be afraid to do this before, during and after your interview. The incoming deep breath helps the oxygen go to your brain and gets those mental juices flowing.

 

2. Fantasize about the interview going well

In your head, go through the interview process from beginning to end. Imagine walking into the office, introducing yourself with a big smile, sitting down, talking about yourself and your experience. Imagine the optimal interview experience and think about the amazing answers that you’ll give to the interviewer. All of this will help you mentally prepare you for the interview itself. You’ll have already had the positive experience in your brain, so the real experience won’t be so unfamiliar.

 

how to calm nerves before an interview

 

3. Practice what you’re going to say

Don’t try to memorize potential interview questions, but do have a concrete idea of your strengths and weaknesses, previous experience and how your skill set can benefit the company. Have a few family members drill you and practice saying answers in different ways. Having your answer come out perfectly isn’t as important as making sure your point comes across.

 

4. Have a reality check

It’s not the end of the world if you bomb the interview. If you bomb, you bomb. The worst case scenario is that you don’t get the job – which you didn’t have in the first place. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

 

5. Remember that everyone has been in your shoes before

You’re not the first person in the world to do a job interview and you’re certainly not the last. Job interviews happen all day in companies around the world, so realize that you’re doing something very normal and straightforward. Try to spend your energy on preparation, not anxiety.

 

6. Believe that you are the best candidate

Know with conviction that you are the very best person for the job and why. It doesn’t matter what other candidates the company is seeing and how much experience they have – believe that you are exactly what they are looking for and back that up.

 

how to calm nerves before an interview

 

7. Make sure to eat a good breakfast and drink lots of water

Not properly fueling yourself before your interview can mean having low energy or any number of other health issues. Eat a healthy and balanced breakfast and drink plenty of water before your interview so that you feel your best.

 

8. Wear comfortable work clothes that look great and make you feel relaxed

Feeling comfortable will help you feel more relaxed and confident during the interview, so avoid extra high heels or an itchy suit. If you don’t have any comfortable professional clothing – invest in them. The last thing you want to happen is to feel uncomfortable and distracted before or during your interview.

 

9. Arrive early

Arriving at the last minute to an interview is a great way to add more stress to the situation. Look up the directions to the office beforehand and get there with plenty of time to drink some water, go to the bathroom and maybe even do a power pose in the mirror. You got this!

 

Now that you’re ready for your interview, apply today for an international internship!

 

Photo 1. based on Nervous Woman, by amenclinicsphotos ac, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photo 2. based on Tapping a Pencil, by Rennett Stowe, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on breathe, by helin, CC-by-SA 2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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