I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You’re in the interview room with sweaty palms and a racing heart wondering why you can’t calm down. As much as you tell yourself to stop being nervous, you can’t seem to get a grip. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple things you can do to help this somewhat daunting process go more smoothly.
- Do a practice interview. While many colleges and universities have career centers that offer a practice interviewing service, this doesn’t have to be that much of an ordeal. Simply ask your friend or parent to ask you a couple of generic interview questions over the phone. Even though they’re not career center experts, they’ll probably have some useful feedback!
- Prepare, prepare, prepare! Being ready for your interview will make you more confident and most likely less nervous. This means researching the company beforehand, understanding the job you are interviewing for, and brainstorming a list of strengths you have that make you an ideal candidate for this position. When I’m feeling extra nervous, I’ll even prepare a sheet with questions I want to ask the interviewer as well as bring an annotated version of my resume with notes about pieces I want to emphasize. Although I rarely ever look at these during the interview, there’s a certain comfort in knowing that they are there “just in case.”
- It’s all about your mindset. Think of the interview as just a conversation. They are trying to get to know you just as much as you are trying to get to know them. Although some answers will inherently be better than others, recognize that there are a range of “good” answers to interview questions and a range of different personalities that can perform the job duties of the position equally well. Thinking in this mindset will hopefully help you take some of the pressure off of yourself.
- Don’t forget about your video resume! By using a video resume in your application, employers have already (in a way) “met” you. The stress of trying to make a good first impression and also nail the interview can be a bit overwhelming. If you’re confident in your video resume as your first impression, then you can spend less time agonizing about those first couple of moments when you actually do meet the interviewer and focus on the interview instead.
Follow these tips and you’ll be way ahead of the game for just about any interview! And remember that with time and practice, interviewing gets a whole lot easier.