author: Laurie Berenson
Getting called for a job interview is great news! You made the short list, and the company would now like to meet you. It’s what you work hard to secure during a job search, but it’s still natural to be nervous. Interviewing is not something that most of us do frequently, so just the thought can leave us feeling anxious and worried.
Related: 5 Unorthodox Pre-Interview Routines That Actually Work
If you can relate, here are five tried-and-true things you can do to help lessen the pressure you might be feeling:
1. Be Prepared For Tough Questions
While you don’t know what an interviewer is going to ask, there are standard interview questions for which it’s worth preparing. “Tell me about yourself,” “What are your salary expectations?” and “What is the most stressful situation you have experienced at work recently, and how did you handle it?” are commonly asked questions. Write out your answers and then edit ruthlessly to ensure energetic, crisp responses. If you have a real or perceived hurdle in your employment past, such as a gap in employment, own it! In an interview situation, it’s important not to be apologetic or remorseful. Be positive about your experience and background, maintaining an upbeat, matter-of-fact tone and “vibe.”
2. Be Relaxed With Practice
Having answers written out in a notebook or on index cards is a good start, but it’s important to practice speaking them. It may seem awkward at first, but the old saying that “practice makes perfect” is especially true here. Grab a friend or family member, set up the camera on your smartphone, and start talking. Body language speaks volumes to the interviewer, and the camera will ensure yours doesn’t ruin this important part of the hiring process. Reading through previously drafted answers only takes you half way. Combine it with practice in front of a camera for maximum benefit.
3. Be Ready By Doing Research
Find out as much as you can about the employer. You probably are familiar with the industry itself, but how much do you know about the company? Are they building new stores? Have they recently consummated a new contract? Did they just change leadership? The list is endless, but the point is to know specifics about your new employer. Being armed with this information gives you talking points and shows a level interest most interviewers find refreshing.
4. Be Calm By Making Time To Exercise
Very little can compare to the confidence boost you get from a good sweat-fest within 12-24 hours before an interview. Your mind is sharper, your eyes are clearer, and your overall sense of well-being is greatly enhanced after a little gym time.
5. Be At Your Best With Enough Rest
Make certain you are well rested. You can celebrate after you land the job, but avoid such festivities the night before. Yawning and having bags under your eyes does not make a great first impression and may squelch the one chance you may have at this new position.
The smart approach to today’s job market is to assume that you’re facing stiff competition for any one position. Be the best you can be by following these simple steps. Your odds of having a successful interview will be greatly enhanced, and you’ll be one step closer to your next position.