How to Stay Calm during a Job Interview

Two ladies in the office

Studies show that nearly 90 per cent of job interviewees find the panel of recruiters quite intimidating. While you can never steer away the nervousness completely, staying cool, calm and collected during the interview can be critical to getting hired. Becoming anxious, panicking at the last moment or being edgy while on the hot seat can bring out all the wrong moves you had never planned. To avoid the last minute nausea, churning stomach and sweaty palms, here are some job interview tips that can help you stay calm and poised throughout the job interview session.

Job Interview Tips

Be Thorough with Your Preparation

It goes without saying “Practice makes man perfect”. Preparing for the interview well in advance instills the confidence in you that generates from awareness. This is the reason most job interview experts recommend you to thoroughly research the company, prepare answers to the rather tough and nerve-racking questions, re-evaluate your responses and sometimes even go for a mock interview as a part of preparation to be accurate with your posture, your greeting style and your grooming. While you can say it is the most obvious requirement to succeed an interview, being sure about your moves will help you reduce the anxiety when you first enter the interview room.

Plan Well in Advance

While preparation includes practicing the actions to be taken during the interview session, planning includes getting to the place in spick and span condition by being organized beforehand. This will save you from last minute hurrying and scurrying. Plan what you will wear on the D-Day. Remember you should look your best in the tailored formal attire. Wash or dry clean it and keep it ironed at least a day before. A large coffee stain on the intended attire to be worn can be menacing when discovered just when you are getting dressed.

Similarly, never wait till the eleventh hour to take printouts or copies of resume, certificates or other important documents. All the documents should be neatly and systematically stacked in files, so that you can produce as soon as it is required. This way there will be no chance that you will miss any important paper. Also be careful enough, to arrive at least 15 minutes earlier. You have to determine the route prior to the date of the job interview and schedule your travel accordingly.

Eliminate the Confusion

Don’t step ahead with apprehensions in mind. If you are not sure about something then immediately get a clarification. For example, if you are not sure what to wear or what are the essential documents or the exact timing of the interview, better consult the Human Resources Department and be sure about the details. This will ensure a flawless entry which will assure a better day ahead thus cutting down your anxiety.

Arrive Early

When you arrive earlier than the scheduled time, it gives you plenty of time to relax and rethink your strategy for the day. Never be late or arrive at the last minute for your job interview. Along with creating a bad first impression, you will just end up disrupting the smooth plan for the day by growing nervous. Instead arrive on the spot early. Go through your plan mentally; assure yourself that the upcoming session is just another formal conversation in which you need to be accurate, respectful and capable of sharing your ideas and knowledge. This will gear up your self-confidence and you won’t feel blank while on the hot seat.

Think of the Job Interview as a Conversation

Viewing the interview as a formal conversation between two professionals who are trying to know whether they will be able to work together and be compatible in the organization will help you keep calm and collected. Understand that the interviewer himself might be in frenzy too and a calm smile can set him at ease.  This can be a little difficult to achieve but if you are sure of yourself and your preparations then holding an intellectual and professional conversation will be comparatively easy for you.

Assume the Interviewer as Your Friend

Unless it is a stress interview, there is absolutely no reason for you to be intimidated by the recruiters. In fact the job interview panel members are almost always friendly people who wish to help you out. In reality they help you relax, take your time and settle down. Most interviewers ask casual questions about family and hobbies during the first 15 minutes to create a comfortable conversational environment so that you can find yourself at ease.  Keep in mind that, you are there because they need you as much as you need them.

Focus on Your Strengths and Positive Qualities

Anxiety brings out the worst in us and we end up thinking what a horrible loser you are. But, just think- You wouldn’t have been selected in the first place if you had been a loser. So, focus on your good qualities and try to prove yourself as an asset for the company. It will dissipate the panic attack like nothing else and boost your confidence.

Think before You Answer

Being edgy and nervous usually results in fast speech which becomes incomprehensible after a certain point. So, don’t rush. It will only make you more anxious as you will struggle for breaths. Consequently you might blurt out a wrong answer. So, stay composed, think about the answer for about half a minute and respond smoothly.

Accept that the Job Interview can never be Flawless

The acceptance that your job interview can never be completely devoid of mistakes is imperative to a smooth interview session. You are human and it is human to err, just not too much. The panel knows that you are not perfect and they are not even expecting such a thing. In fact organizations need employees who are flexible, resourceful, and talented and adapt with changing circumstances.

While the key to nailing a job interview is the confidence and the X- factor, a little nervousness is always healthy. It will keep you from getting over-confident and help you achieve the right balance in your personality to come out with flying colors.

Here’s an awesome infographic on how to nail the job interview

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Anatomy of a Job Interview | Infographic |