Attending an interview practically defines the expression, “The pressure is on!”
While it’s completely normal to feel some level of nervousness before and during a job interview, there are several ways to ease our anguished psyches:
1. Rehearse with a friend. You’ve certainly heard this advice before because it really works! Write down the possible questions an interviewer might ask you, and formulate your answers in advance. Practice saying them to a friend who plays the role of interviewer. You’ll feel much more confident and self-assured going in.
2. Don’t sweat it—but do exercise! A good workout can boost levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain, resulting in increased feelings of calmness and well-being. Furthermore, exercise enhances your confidence, self-esteem and physical/mental strength.
3. Limit the java. The effects of too much caffeine on our body’s central nervous system leads to increased anxiety, headaches, agitation, dizziness, insomnia and other symptoms. Why increase your stress heading into an interview that you already find nerve-wracking?
4. Just breathe. When we are anxious, our breathing becomes quick and shallow, often resulting in lightheadedness, faintness, dizziness, tingling, numbness, chest pain and hyperventilation. These uncomfortable symptoms, which tend to compound anxiety, will subside if we simply slow down our breathing. Before or during your interview, if you begin to feel uptight, try slowing your inhalations while repeating soothing affirmations to yourself such as, “I am calm,” or “All is well in my world.”
5. Release the pressure valve. Even though simply thinking about an upcoming interview might put your heart rate into overdrive, go to a quiet place and try to get a realistic perspective on the situation. You might learn that what you thought was “the job of your dreams” is not, necessarily, and that other opportunities will arise. When you give yourself permission to fail, you let go of fear and your rigid attachment to a particular outcome. Ironically, adopting this attitude will allow you to relax and ace the interview!