So you landed the interview – congratulations! All that applying and proving yourself finally paid off! Now comes the stressful part: the actual interview. The interview is where they’ll actually be able to see who you are, how you work, and (the scariest part) if you’re a good fit for their company.
So who wouldn’t be nervous? You’re whole livelihood depends on this interview. There is a secret to a more successful interview (but shhh, only tell everyone): relax.
Now I know this is easier said than done, but there are a few things you can do to put you on the path to serenity (and employment).
- Get a good night’s sleep. Don’t go out to the bars the night before, don’t try to marathon-watch a whole season of “Murder, She Wrote,” and don’t have anything that has caffeine in it after 5 p.m. Rather, pretend like you’re eight years old again and your mom is sending you to bed at 9 p.m. Go to bed at that time and do everything in your power to fall asleep as soon as possible.
- In the morning, make sure you set an alarm. Actually, set two, one at the time you should get up and one ten minutes later for when you’ll really get up, and in case you doze off after your first goes off. Set these alarms for early enough that you’ll have plenty of time to shower, get dressed, and enjoy your breakfast before having to go to the interview. This will also give you some time to do some last minute refreshing on what the company’s all about.
- Know where you’re going beforehand. Make sure you know exactly where the office is before you walk out the door and how far away it is. If it’s more than 30 minutes away, give yourself at least an hour to get there, find a parking spot, and find the building. It also helps if you know the name of who you’re interviewing with.
- Do a power stance in the elevator. In her TED Talk, Amy Cuddy talked about how your body language can effect who you are and your confidence level. She recommends doing a power stance before an interview (or any other situation where you need as much confidence as you can muster). You should probably do this in the parking lot or the elevator before you get there – probably not in the office of whoever’s interviewing you. To do this, make your body as big as you possibly can. Stand with your legs wide and reach out your arms as high and wide as you can. Hold this pose for a couple seconds before releasing. Do you feel more powerful? Good.
- And lastly, don’t forget to breathe. It’s amazing what a couple of deep breaths will do. And don’t just do one. Do five slow breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth. The extra oxygen will clear your head and let your whole body relax.
I hope these help, I know how stressful interviews can be. If you just give yourself plenty of time to prepare and practice breathing beforehand, you’ll be golden.
What tips do you have for making your interview a successful one?