Most candidates tend to feel nervous before an interview and this affects their confidence and self-esteem. If the thought of sitting across an interviewer makes your heart pound and palms sweat, you are not alone. But do not let this ruin your chances of getting hired. Try out these 7 simple strategies that will help you curb anxiety and make you appear calm and cool.
Connect with interviewers
It is important to build a rapport with your interviewer rather than trying to impress them. You should come across as a likeable, skilled person. Dr. Gary Wood, psychologist and author, says, “We often get the idea that confidence is about holding court whereas it is more to do with putting people at ease. It helps to focus on connecting with people rather than focusing on the performance.”
Be compassionate to yourself before the interview
Treat yourself with compassion like you would speak to a best friend. Do not be harsh on yourself and try to eliminate any negative thoughts that might make your nervous. Business psychologist and Coach Dr. Sarah Connell, advises, “Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. People worry about appearing arrogant, but the interview panel do not automatically know what you have to offer, so it is up to you to tell them.”
Use breathing techniques to boost self-confidence
The more relaxed you feel, the more confident you will appear. To build self-confidence, use some mindfulness and breathing exercises. “Staying present by focusing on your breathing just before an interview should help calm nerves,” adds mindfulness teacher Gelong Thubten.
Reduce anxiety through power poses and relaxation exercises
Before you step into the interview room, use some power poses and relaxation exercises to curb anxiety. Do not rush while speaking in the interview. If there is silence, do not try to fill it up with unnecessary information. “Sometimes leaving pauses in your sentences will help you command the situation better,” says Thubten.
Prepare and rehearse
Rehearsing potential answers with a friend or sibling surely helps calm you down. This technique helps in taking the pressure off and you will appear confident in the interview. Cite examples and situations to highlight your skills, qualities, knowledge, and experience. Show them how you have built these.
Maintain eye contact
Keeping steady, natural eye contact can help you connect with interviewers. This makes you look confident and engaged. Mary Griffin, a Human Resources Director adds, “A key giveaway of a nervous interviewee is a lack of direct eye contact—looking down, looking away, and not looking the interviewer directly in the eyes. A more confident interviewee appears to be engaged with the interviewer.”
Picture yourself succeeding
One of the best ways to boost your confidence and self-esteem is to imagine yourself succeeding. You can calm you pre-interview jitters by visualizing yourself during a successful interview. “Before you go in start visualizing a successful interview: imagine how you walk to the room, shake the interviewer’s hands and answer the questions with confidence,” says Margaret Buj, an interview coach.
So with these 7 strategies in mind, practice, gather your strength, relax, and step into that interview room brimming with confidence. These proven techniques will increase your chances of landing your dream job. To know more about how to make a good first impression in a job interview, click here.