How to Relax Before an Interview

interviews are stressful. Worrying about what to say and how to act can make your mind feel cluttered, which isn’t what you want right before talking to a potential employer. Fortunately, there are many ways you can calm yourself down and center your mind a few days, a few hours, and a few minutes before the interview. Above all, remember that you’re the right candidate for the job and that you deserve to be interviewed for the position (even if you’re still feeling anxious).

1. Research the company and the position.

    • Try to incorporate this knowledge into your answers during the interview. For example, you can talk about how you’re impressed by a certain product or the company’s overall culture.
    • It can also help to reread the job listing so that you have a full understanding of what the position entails.It will help you feel prepared and confident when you walk into the room. Run a quick search online and familiarize yourself with the company. Check out their website, learn about their services and products, find out their mission statement, and read any recent press releases.

2. Come up with answers to common interview questions.

Most interviews are fairly predictable. It’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll be asked a handful of questions at most interviews, no matter what the job details are. Try writing down your answers and practicing them ahead of time to prepare yourself for the real deal. Common interview questions include:

  • “Why do you want to work at our company?”
  • “What makes you the right fit for this position?”
  • “Can you explain the gaps in your resumé?”
  • “What’s your biggest weakness in the workplace?”
  • “Can you give me an example of a challenge you’ve overcome in the workplace?”

3. Do a mock interview to practice.

Grab a friend and have them ask you interview questions. Try to answer comfortably and confidently every time. If you stumble over your words or mess up, go back and retry. The more you practice, the better you’ll feel!

  • You could even have your friend video tape you so you can watch yourself answer questions in real time.

4. Listen to your favorite music.

Pick something empowering to put you in the right headspace. Avoid anything melancholy, and opt for inspiring tunes that fill your head with positive energy and excitement. If music isn’t your jam, an inspiring podcast or a speech will do the trick, too.

  • Try playing your favorite music in the car on your way to the interview, or plug in your headphones and listen to music while you walk or ride the train there.

5. Close your eyes and clear your mind.

Don’t think about your interview or the stress you’re under. Focus instead on how you’re feeling physically, and let your mind go as blank as possible for a few moments. It’s best to do this in a quiet place, although you can practice focusing on your breathing just about anywhere.

  • You can even do this exercise in the waiting room just before your interview, although you may not want to close your eyes.

6. Be Optimistic- Picture the interview going well.

Imagining it can help calm you down and feel more relaxed. Picture yourself walking into the room, shaking the interviewer’s hand, and sitting down. Visualise how you’ll answer each question with confidence and poise before leaving the interview with your head held high.

  • It sounds silly, but visualization really works! If you can imagine yourself doing well, your chances of succeeding get much higher.

7. Warm up your voice

On your way there, make sure your voice sounds crisp and clear. As you’re driving to the interview, go through your main talking points until they sound concise. Focus on enunciating your words, but keep your tone conversational and personable.

  • Imagine that you’re an actor getting ready for an audition. If your voice sounds tired or lackluster, your audition probably won’t go well!

8. Get there early

Rushing around can really amp up your anxiety. Instead, check the traffic before you head out, and plan on being there at least 15 minutes early. If you get there sooner than you meant to, hang out in your car and practice deep breathing until it’s time to go inside.

  • Try to avoid showing up earlier than 10 to 15 minutes before your interview time. If you get there too early, your interviewer might feel pressured to bump up their schedule.

9. Breathe slowly and deeply to keep calm.

Take breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Avoid shallow breathing as much as you can, keeping your eyes closed. You don’t want to just fill your chest with air, but feel the air going in through your nose and all the way down into your belly.

  • It may take several minutes for your breathing to slow down and become steady.
  • If you’re having trouble breathing deeply, it can be helpful to mentally count to 5 with each inhale (making sure your intake of air lasts the full 5 seconds), and count another 5 with each exhale.

10. Double check your appearance

Before the interview starts, duck into the bathroom to see how you look. Fix any stray hairs, makeup smudges, or shirt wrinkles as best you can before you head into the interview. When you look good, you feel good, too!

  • You can also check your appearance in your car or with a compact mirror before heading into the building.

11. Body Language 

The right posture can really give you a confidence boost. Straighten your spine, lift your chin, and keep your head level with your neck to strike the right pose. Keep your arms loose and relaxed at your sides to look cool and comfortable with the situation.

  • Try to avoid crossing your arms, which can create a negative vibe.
  • Maintain good eye contact and try to avoid awkwardly looking around while your being interviewed.
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