Job interviews are undoubtedly stressful, so you're bound to have a few jitters as you prepare for the big day. After all, this single interaction stands between you and your dream job. To keep yourself from spinning out of control, consider these tips to calm your nerves prior to a job interview.
1. Practice Common Questions
Look over a list of common job interview questions, such as "What's your greatest weakness?" or "What are your long-term career goals?" Think about how you might answer these questions and practice your responses aloud in front of the mirror. Repeat your responses over and over until they sound natural and unrehearsed.
2. Double-Check Your Outfit
Get your professional attire ready as soon as you schedule your interview. Make sure your suit is clean and freshly pressed and your shoes are attractive and polished.
3. Prepare Important Documents
Bring any application documents and several copies of your resume and cover letter to the job interview. Bring a copy of the job description so you can refer to it before the interview and as you answer questions. Get these documents ready the day before and place them in a professional-looking folder.
4. Get a Good Night's Sleep
Get to bed early the night before your interview. Set an alarm for the morning and visualize success as you fall asleep. Give yourself plenty of time in the morning for a healthy breakfast.
Clear your mind of negative thoughts as you get ready for the interview. Imagine yourself walking into the room with confidence, answering the hiring manager's questions enthusiastically and maintaining eye contact throughout the interview.
Exercising prior to the job interview helps you relieve stress and elevates your mood. If you don't have time for a run or some push-ups prior to getting ready, do something else to get your heart pumping. Walk an extra block to the interview location or take the stairs rather than the elevator.
7. Allow Extra Travel Time
Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview location to allow for traffic and parking. If you're early, take a minute to go to the restroom and check yourself in the mirror before signing in with the receptionist.
8. Breathe Deeply
As you sit in the waiting area, take deep, cleansing breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly several times as you clear your mind and imagine a successful job interview.
It's completely normal to be nervous before your job interview, and hiring managers expect it, but the stress doesn't need to control you. By following these tips, you can calm your nerves to ensure you put your best foot forward and make a positive first impression during your job interview.
Photo courtesy of Women in Suits and Shirt at Flickr.com