Calming the Interview Jitters

John Krautzel
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It's not unusual to experience a case of the jitters before you go to a job interview. After all, you want to impress the interviewer and present yourself as a competent, qualified professional. Fortunately, there are several ways to calm your nerves and show the interviewer you are as cool as a cucumber. Next time you have a job interview, follow these tips to eliminate the interview jitters.

1. Know Where You Are Going

If you have never been to the interview location, take time to map out your route. Check your local newspaper or state department of motor vehicles website to see if there are any road closures you may encounter. If the forecast calls for rain or snow, plan to leave early in case the roads are slippery. Print out the directions ahead of time so you don't have to worry about your printer breaking the day of the job interview. If you are taking public transportation, look up the bus or train schedule in advance. Allow extra time in case there are delays on your route. If you plan ahead, you don't need to worry about arriving late and making a bad impression.

2. Be Prepared

Do more preparation for the job interview than you think is necessary. It's almost impossible to do too much research about a potential employer. If you have never worked in a particular industry, read trade magazines to get an idea of current issues in the industry. Check local publications for articles about the company and its key personnel. You aren't doing all this research to impress the interviewer; you're doing it so you feel confident going into the job interview.

3. Exercise the Stress Away

If you have interview jitters right before you are scheduled to meet with the hiring manager, do something physical. Exercise relieves stress and improves your mood, preparing you to do your best at any task. Walk up and down several flights of stairs, pace around the parking lot of a coffee shop or do any task that gets your heart pumping. Just be careful not to do anything that makes sweat stains appear on your dress shirt or interview jacket.

4. Be Ready for Anything

Finally, be ready for anything. The interviewer might decide to turn a one-on-one interview into a panel interview, ask you to have coffee or lunch with her, or ask if you can wait a few minutes because of a meeting that ran long. If you are prepared for these hiccups, you don't have to worry about appearing flustered or unwilling to be flexible during your job interview.

If you are lucky enough to schedule a job interview with a desirable employer, don't let a case of frazzled nerves hurt you. Calm down by doing some exercise, planning ahead and being prepared for almost anything to happen.

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