An interview is your chance to leave a positive impression on a potential employer. With thoughts of a higher salary and future opportunities buzzing around your head, it’s only natural to feel a little intimidated by the interview process. However, with several relaxation techniques and some advanced planning, you can ace the interview without falling victim to your fears or nervousness.
Research the company. A little study time can ease your nerves before the interview by arming you with knowledge of the company's culture, product niche, marketing strategy, chain of command and customer base. Research will help you answer some of the interviewer’s questions, such as “Why do you want to work for us?” In addition, when it’s your turn to ask some questions, you can show off your knowledge of the company and its products and services.
Rehearse your lines. While you can’t accurately predict what questions the interviewer will ask, you can prepare a few basic talking points. Be prepared to answer questions about your educational background, strengths, weaknesses, salary expectations and future goals. You should also be ready to back up your points by providing examples of how you improved a past employer's business.
Wear a professional outfit. Women should wear a business appropriate skirt or slacks. Looking professional will bolster your confidence. Make sure these clothes are not only neat and tidy, but also comfortable for you to wear. This will help you relax during the interview and avoid self-consciousness. Ready your outfit the night before the interview so you won’t have to worry about what to wear in the morning.
Eat stress-reducing food. Prevention.com suggests a list of foods that will help manage your stress hormones. These foods include asparagus, blueberries and oatmeal, so try to incorporate these items into your breakfast. Chamomile and green tea have also been shown to reduce anxiety and promote clear thinking.
Practice breathing exercises. Find a quiet, secluded area and perform a series of deep breathing exercises. These exercises trick your body into thinking it is already in a relaxed state. This results in a drop in your blood pressure and heart rate.
Perform power poses before the interview. These are poses that expand your body, such as standing tall with your arms extended above you. According to Wired, two minutes in a power pose will decrease cortisol, a hormone linked to stress. It will also increase testosterone and make you feel more confident.
Treat the interview as a casual conversation. While you don’t want to use inappropriate language or slang during your interview, you don't have to be overly formal, either. Carry on at an unhurried pace and remain positive in your body language and interactions. If possible, make time for informal talk of non-job-related topics before or after the interview. Keep it brief, though, to ensure you don't take up too much of the interviewer's time on small talk.
Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.