Your mouth is dry and your hands are moist and shaky. Your movements are awkward and you feel your head is blank. These are common symptoms when you are facing a job interview. Nerves can play tricks on you, so it’s crucial to know how to control them. If you adopt these tips, it will be much easier to remain calm and show your best.
- Sleep well the night before. It seems obvious, but there are many candidates who forget aspects as basic as this. Sleeping well will make you arrive fresh and strong enough to respond without hesitation to any question you may have. “Going to an assessment in the midst of a fog of drowsiness trying to compensate for caffeine is not a good way to start,” says career development strategy expert John Lees in his book How to Succeed at Job Interviews (Ed Pearson).
- Check your browser and arrive in good time. It may seem like another obvious thing, but make sure you check the exact address, if there is a jam on the way, how long you will take to park or how far is the nearest bus stop. You must be perfectly informed, so check the address on Google Maps and call ahead if you are not sure which building or door you should use to access the interview site. Think any setback could make you lose your temper at a time like this, so try to avoid any small incident that seems to you
- Have a sweet drink before entering. It is normal for you to feel dry mouth. But the water will not help you. “Take a hot sweet drink or a sugary coffee just before you start, sugar covers the mouth and works much better than water,” Lees explains. Once inside the interview room they could offer you water or a drink: “Say no. The sound of a cup tinkling on a plate is impossible to ignore. You probably end up throwing the coffee on yourself, “advises the expert in career strategy.
- Leave your coat at reception and turn off your cell phone. Get rid of anything that distracts or disturbs you as soon as possible. Turn off your cell phone and leave it at the front desk with your coat, purse and anything else you do not need to take with you to the interview room. This is no time to be distracted by anything other than the interview itself, so do not take things that you can throw or fall on: avoid using accessories, such as a long necklace that can be hooked with your ballpoint pen or a tie too tight for you Make you uncomfortable throughout the interview. Remember that anything that may hinder your movements will make you more aware of it than the interview itself.
- Do stretching in the bathroom. It’s a trick that works great for getting relaxed to the interview room. If your hands are shaking and you begin to feel that your palms are whetted by the sweat, it is the moment to retire to the bathroom and to spend five minutes to do stretches. Raise the ankles and palms of the hands and hold that position for a few seconds, repeat the movement four or five times. Then turn your head right and left, forward and back, do several sets with slow movements and concentrate on what you do. You will feel much more relaxed and you will notice how the nerves disappear.
- Take a deep breath before you begin. Take a few deep breaths just before you enter the interview room so you can lower your heart rate. If you know a relaxation technique, it’s time to put it into practice. Walk with steady pace and slow movements. Once inside the room, try again to take a deep breath in all the occasions you have to talk. Your voice will come out very clear and sharp, without alterations of tone and rhythm.
- Concentrate on listening. Many candidates lament that they did not remember the things they wanted to say in an interview. One trick to avoid that is to concentrate on listening to what the interviewers say and how they say it. If you pay attention to the tone they use when addressing you, the nuances of your questions, you will know how to respond, and you will calmly and safely. It’s no use bringing prepared what you mean if you do not say it at the right time and in the right way. Take your time before answering: “Learn to listen to the exact words of each question and also listen to the short silence at the end of each one. It is perfectly acceptable to pause before starting to give a detailed answer, “explains John Lees.
- Speak loud and clear. Interviewers often complain that candidates give half their answers in a very low, almost muttering tone. Concentrate on speaking clearly, vocalizing perfectly, and raise your tone of voice. Rehearse