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6 Ways to Calm Down (and Amp Up) Before Your Interview

by | Jul 12, 2018 | career advice, Interview and Job Search Skills, interview tips, job search tips

Interview Day has arrived.

You’ve researched the company, the industry, and the people you’re going to meet with.

You’ve run through several possible interview questions and practiced telling some great stories.

You’ve dressed the part and you’re ready to go.

And still…you’re incredibly nervous!

No matter how prepared you are, interviews can be an anxiety-inducing, overwhelming proposition. That said, you can calm down and replace those feelings with a serene, confident state of mind using these 6 strategies:

1. Visualize Success

“Visualize yourself 15 minutes after the successful completion of the event or situation,” recommends Ashley James, neuro-linguistic programming practitioner on eliminating anxiety. How do you want to feel after your interview? Happy, energized, confident in your performance—like you nailed it, right? So take a few moments and picture yourself on the drive home, smile on your face, anticipating a job offer.

2. Power Pose

Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy made famous the concept of Power Posing in her TED Talk —its second most-watched presentation with nearly 48 million views. Cuddy discusses how assuming a strong, open pose for several minutes can significantly boost your confidence. Two popular ways to do this are standing like a superhero, hands on hips, feet hip distance apart OR standing straight, with arms above your head in an upward “V” position. Whether you do this in the privacy of your own home or office a couple of hours ahead of time, or in a bathroom stall minutes before the interview, you can reap the benefits.

3. Breathe

Steady, deep breathing can get us through many stressful situations– heavy traffic, a frustrating customer interaction, or Interview Day. On your commute to the meeting, practice deeply inhaling, then exhaling through your nose at least 10-12 times in a row.

4. Get Excited About Meeting Your Interviewer

Get into a good, positive mindset by convincing yourself that you’ll get to meet someone new and learn something new. Tell yourself, “I’m really looking forward to this meeting today, and I’m so excited to meet John and Kamna to talk about the job.”

5. Create a Mantra

Try some of these:

“I’m well-qualified to do this job. I have the experience and credentials this company needs.”

“I have a lot to offer this company. I’m an equal participant in this meeting.”

“I’ve prepared for this interview, and I’ve improved my interview skills to make a great impression.”

6. Choose an Anthem

A job seeker recently told me that she makes a point to play her favorite music on the way to the interview—in her case, 80’s classic rock—to get into a positive space. “By the time I arrive, I’m in a happy mood, I’m calm, and I’m ready to start the conversation.” Create an uplifting song playlist, with your top feel-good songs at the beginning—you can’t help but be in a great mood.

Bonus Tip: Stand as You Wait

Now that you’ve visualized success, power-posed, practiced your breathing, built your excitement to meet the person, created a mantra, and chosen a theme song, you’re on stage. Stand as you wait in the lobby to meet your interviewer. This way, you’ll immediately be at eye level, you’re on equal ground, and you’re an equal participant in this meeting.

Experiment with these strategies to see what works best for you to be a calm, cool, collected candidate.


dalena bradley job interview coach career coach

I’m Dalena Bradley, job interview coach and career marketer dedicated to helping you communicate your value, stand out from the competition, and win the job!

Contact me to discuss how we can collaborate.

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