Although interviewing for a job can make you feel like you’re in the “Hot Seat” on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, you don’t have to have to let your interviewer see you sweat. Keep your cool during any job interview with these top tips:
Prepare. The best defense against job interview jitters is to be well-prepared. Before your interview, remember the three R’s: Research, Rehearse, and Review.
- Research: Familiarize yourself with your potential employer’s history to ensure you have a clear understanding of the job description.
- Rehearse: Practice your responses to questions by setting up a mock interview with a friend or family member. If you can’t rope anyone into role-playing, record yourself answering common job interview questions.
- Review: Study your resume, cover letter, and job application so you aren’t tripped up by easy to answer questions concerning your employment history, skills, and achievements.
Show up early. Forget about the the worm, the early bird has a better chance of getting the job! Arriving early to a job interview gives you the opportunity to glance over your employment documents a final time, gather your thoughts, and focus on the task ahead. Taking a moment to envision yourself succeeding in your interview just may make it a reality.
Don’t think of the interviewer as the enemy. While you shouldn’t imagine the interviewer as your new BFF, it is equally unwise to think of your interviewer as a super-villain bent on destroying your career. Stay calm by thinking of the interviewer as a neutral party you need to impress rather than someone who wants to reject you.
Pace yourself. Succumbing to stress during your interview will make you panicked and antsy. Don’t rush through your responses, pace yourself. Speak slowly, be sure to enunciate, and most importantly, remember to breathe.
Fake it to make it. Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can also be the key to keeping your cool during a job interview. You may lack confidence, but no one needs to know! Fake it to make it by dressing well, flashing a winning smile, and practicing proper posture.
Suppress self-doubt. Interview anxiety can make insecurity spread like a pandemic. Suppress self-doubt by acknowledging that you have already accomplished something by being called in for an interview. Remind yourself you were asked to the interview because you have a lot to offer and they want to learn more about you.
Give yourself a break. Face it, you’re going to make a mistake. Whether you trip while walking into the interview room or fumble over the name of your last employer, something will likely go wrong during the interview. Give yourself a break and account for mistakes. Yes, your interview is important, but there are other jobs out there if this interview goes awry. Putting too much pressure on yourself will only set you up to fail.
Have additional advice about staying cool during a job interview? Share your suggestions in a comment!
Kimberly Back is the Social Media Strategist and Senior Writer for Virtual Vocations, an online job service that helps job-seekers find legitimate telecommute opportunities while also providing useful and educational resources. Connect with VirtualVocations on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
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Good luck in your search.