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Scored an interview? Steps for staying calm

It’s normal to get a bad case of the jitters when it comes to being interviewed, especially if the interview is for a position you really, really want.

So how do you achieve a state of calm before your interview starts? How do you remain calm during your interview? And last, but not least, how do you maintain calm post interview?

At face2face, our recruitment experts brainstormed steps for doing so. Here they are.

Calm before interview

Sort out the small stuff

Small stuff can make you sweat and get you off track the day of your interview. Get ready early. Prepare the day before by sorting out:

  • what you’re going to wear (clothing, shoes, carry case)
  • what you’re going to take (copy of the job specification and your resume)
  • what time you’re going to leave to be at your interview early
  • how you’re going to get to your interview (mode of transport and route)
  • precise location (address, floor level)
  • where you’re going to park
  • contact details you’ll need (business phone number, contact names).

With the small stuff organised, you won’t panic or fret on the day or waste valuable head space getting your act together.

Here’s a great article on how to dress for a job interview

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Being interviewed is serious business. You’ve worked hard to land the interview. Work just as hard to prepare for it. This involves:

  • studying your resume so contents are fresh in your mind
  • reviewing job specifications so they’re fresh in your mind
  • conducting research on the employer online, including their mission and values
  • working through answers to potential interview questions.

Preparing in advance will relieve stress levels and make you feel confident.

Valuable reading material:

Qs to ask (and not ask) at your interview

How to interview like a professional

What not to do in an interview

Tackling behavioural questions at interview

Questions you don’t have to answer at interview

Deal with pre-interview nerves

There’s loads you can do to manage pre-interview nerves. If you think rocking into an interview fueled by too many cups of coffee and an empty stomach is a good idea, think again.

Tips to get you ready before you walk into your interview:

  • eat a healthy meal
  • avoid too much caffeine
  • get your energy levels up by going for a walk, jog or run
  • meditate
  • breathe deeply to relax
  • think positively.

Calm during interview

Once you’re in an interview, stay calm. This will help you think straight and answer questions well.

Get off on the right foot with your posture and a handshake

People judge your character by your posture and handshake. Stand and sit with your back and shoulders straight. Don’t slump. When you greet those interviewing you, show your confidence and professionalism by shaking hands—firmly, not wishy washy.

Check out these short videos:

The power of body language

The top 10 bad business handshakes

Combat your nerves with controlled breathing

It’s true that longer, deeper breaths send oxygen straight to your brain. This is what you want for clarity of thought. So, breathe deeply …

Tips for minimising nerves

Convert negative self-talk into positive self-talk

 As humans, we’re renowned for negative self-talk which can impact how we perform, including at interview. Highlight your strengths not weaknesses.

This expert article will help you change negative self-talk to positive self-talk

Ask for a moment

Interviewers aren’t there to trip you up. They understand you’ll be nervous. If you’re losing control, ask the interviewer to repeat a question and/or ask for a moment to gather your thoughts.

Calm post interview

No matter how you feel after your interview—whether you smashed it, are unsure or feel you bombed—breathe, stay calm and carry on post interview.

Fretting never helps. Pat yourself on the back for getting to the interview. Remember that every interview is positive for practice and every interview makes you stronger next time.

Also remember that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the job. Take a broad perspective. There are always other opportunities. Your time will come.

Whatever you do, don’t be a stalker. If the prospective employer says they’ll get back to you in a week, wait until the week is over before following up. If you jump the gun and/or leave multiple messages you could be seen as annoying and someone who will be too hard to deal with on the job.

Want to learn more?

Strategic questions to ask at a job interview

The thinking behind an important interview q

The salary question: answer like a pro

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