Congratulations! You’ve done the hard work of getting the attention of a company with your resume and cover letter, and now you’ve been invited to come in for a sit-down interview.
Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to shake off feelings of nervousness or apprehension. Almost everyone has doubts about their ability to perform in an interview and land a job offer – no matter the industry or potential position.
The good news is: There are many simple steps you can take to relieve that anxiety.
It’s easy to let negative interview thoughts creep in. We’ve all had that bad interview or said the completely wrong thing at one time or another. However, once you’ve realized your mistake and how to fix it, there’s no need to dwell on mistakes of the past.
Take a tip from professional athletes and concentrate on generating positive mental imagery. Picture yourself walking in confidently and making witty small talk when you interact with people at the company. Think about coming up with great, well-prepared answers. Imagine doing so well that the hiring manager is considering offering you a job right then and there.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Now that you’ve gotten yourself into the right frame of mind, you need to set yourself up for success with a lot of very thorough preparation.
Read the job description and understand what would be expected of you. Try to anticipate the types of questions you might hear in the interview and develop honest, thoughtful responses. Have a trusted friend conduct several mock interviews with you.
Ideally, you want to reach the point where you feel your responses are automatic. You should start to almost feel bored with the preparation process. When you reach that level of comfort with your prep material, you will be able to access the information when the performance-related nerves kick in.
In addition to preparing for the interview itself, you should also plan out the 24 hours leading up to the interview. Figure out how best to get to the location and how long it takes to travel there. Also, try to get a good night’s sleep and avoid drinking alcohol the night before. You won’t have a good interview if you show up late or walk in groggy.
Remind yourself of your value
A great way to alleviate nerves is to remind yourself that you are a valuable commodity and other companies want your services as well. Remembering your value not only helps with nerves, it can also help you remain calm if you should have a momentary stumble.
Stay relaxed and conversational
During your time at the company, make an effort to maintain good posture, but don’t otherwise get hung up or obsessed on how you’re being perceived. Try to think of the interviewer and people at the company as friends you’re having a conversation with. Having been well-prepared, the important thing in the moment is to focus on making a personal connection.
At Cornerstone, we regularly work with job seekers to help them hone their interviewing skills. If you’re looking to land an interview with a fantastic company, feel free to contact us today.