My hands shook with excitement as I hung up the phone and did a full on happy dance on the middle of the crowded street. I GOT THE INTERVIEW! I could barely get the text out to my boyfriend, I was shaking so much with excitement… and then the interview nerves and anxiety settled in. What questions would I ask in the interview? How personal should I get in the interview? And of course, how would I answer the dreaded question: “tell me a little about yourself?”
Pre interview panic is a very real thing friends. What if they think I am not experienced enough? What if I do that awkward nervous laugh thing that I do? I needed to get rid of the nerves so I could focus and conquer the interview.
No matter many how many times I go through the interview process, it is still nerve racking… and that's coming from someone who has always landed the job.
So how can we ditch interview nerves / anxiety / jitters / panic / (fill in the blank)?
1. Do your homework.
Research the company AND your interviewer as much as possible before hand. When setting up the interview, make sure to get the name (or names) of the people who you’ll be interviewing with. Then use your Internet stalking – er… I mean sleuthing – skills to get to know them.
Getting to know your interviewer as a person can make them seem less intimidating. This practice can also help you with talking points during the interview (but no need to bring up your sleuthing skills and how great their Grandma's 90th birthday looked on Facebook).
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Having a good grasp on the company and their mission is also important for answering interview questions like “Why do you want to work here” or “why should we hire you”.
In my opinion (and experience) preparation is key to get rid of any nerves before an interview.
2. Choose what to wear to your interview 24 hours in advance.
Check the weather report and think about how you will wear your hair. Pick your outfit out and try it on in a brightly lit room to make sure nothing is see through. If you typically twirl your hair when it’s down, wear it up to limit distractions. If you bought a pair of earrings, make sure to wear them beforehand to make sure they aren’t tickling your neck or distracting you.
The key here is to plan every detail of your appearance out (and do a test run) to make sure you are as comfortable and confident as possible. When we feel confident in, that comes through in to the interview.
3. Get your work out in the morning of the interview.
Instead of reaching for coffee before your interview, opt to get a workout in that morning. Working out some of the adrenaline and endorphins will help you be more grounded during the interview; whereas coffee can just fuel your already jittery nerves.
When your body can release the excess energy, your mind will relax and stay clear too. Working out is a form of mindfulness too which can help get rid of worry. Learn more about letting go of worry with mindfulness here!
4. Think about your wants, needs and values.
Remember, interviewing is a two-way street, so this is just as much your chance to figure out if the company is a good fit for you.
Personally, I've been swept up in a company's reputation and assumed it would be my dream job only for it to be my worst nightmare. To ensure you don't end up in a similar position, make sure you interview the company during this time as well!
You can interview the company by having thoughtful questions prepared to ask your interviewer. Questions to ask in an interview that can help you determine if it's a good fit for you include: how long was the last person in this role? What are the company values and how do they work with the community? What is your policy on remote work or flexible work hours? Keep an eye out for how the employees seem while walking around the office too.
Too often, people get so focused on leaving a good impression on the interviewer, then accept the job, and end up miserable because they didn’t take the time to interview the company.
5. Stay off your phone and think happy thoughts.
One of the easiest ways to get rid of nerves before an interview: stay off your phone for at least an hour beforehand… if not longer. The last thing you need is an email, text, or to see something that will irk you or get in your head. Once you step into the company’s office doors, you will absolutely want to stay off your phone (it looks bad).
Use that time to let go of any worries with mindfulness or give yourself a mental pep talk. One way I do this is by remembering that excitement and anxiety feel the same in our bodies, it's our perspective that shapes how we experience it though.
Don’t worry about reviewing your answers to tough interview questions or talking points you may have prepared, just focus on what an awesome catch you are! Your enthusiasm will be contagious!