If you feel nervous before a job interview, relax! It’s normal to be somewhat anxious. In fact, it’s a safe bet than nearly everyone who has ever been on a job interview has been nervous. That didn’t stop many of them from getting a job!
But it can help you feel better, and help your chances, if you look confident. Here are four ways to appear – and be – confident.
Plan the interview
The more you are prepared for the interview, the more confident you will be. Prepare answers to standard questions, such as “what makes you qualified for this job?” and “why do you want to work here?”
Prepare your interview clothes the night before. Don’t run the risk of finding that your suit needed dry cleaning the morning of the interview! It will make you even more nervous. Do a trial run to find out how much time it takes you to get there. Being even a minute late will make your more nervous.
Make eye contact with the interviewer
Many people deal with shyness or anxiety by looking down – or anywhere but at the interviewer. But that can make you seem withdrawn and not prepared. Practice looking at the interviewer directly (but not too long) with family and friends.
When you answer a question, be sure to look at the interviewer.
Pause before you speak
Many people react to anxiety by talking very fast or very loud, and by not really thinking through what they are saying. All these tendencies can be bad news in an interview. You want to speak at a normal tone and volume, so your interviewer isn’t put off. You also need to answer questions thoughtfully.
A good practice is to pause and steady yourself mentally before you speak. That way, words don’t tumble out disjointedly. Give a 15-second review to know what you want to cover when you speak.
Visualize a successful interview…and job
One of the best ways to alleviate anxiety is to visualize success in what you’re anxious about. After all, one of the root causes of anxiety is fearing a bad result – embarrassing yourself during the interview or not getting the job. Visualizing good results – a successful interview and a job offer – counterbalances that.
So daydream all the ways in which you’re going to ace the interview. Think what you’ll be wearing when you get the job offer. Think about all the great opportunities you’ll have on the job.
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