Relax: It’s Just an Interview (4 Steps to Keep Your Cool)
Tensions are high, and that’s understandable. Interviewing is a scary thing, but if you appear too scared or nervous, you could derail the entire meeting. If you’re worried about your stress level and want to be cool, calm, and collected in the presence of the hiring manager, there are a few things you can to do defuse the situation before it becomes a problem. Confidence is a big part of reducing stress, so here are some ways you can build your confidence so you can keep your cool in your next interview.
- Practice, and then stop practicing. In whatever time you have leading up to your interview, enlist the help of a friend. Have them interview you so you can work out the kinks. Do this in person if you can. Give them the job description, your resume, and some common questions to role play the interview. Evaluate your reaction times, body language, and your answers. However, don’t rehearse for so long that your answers start to sound robotic. Once you’ve gone through it a couple of times, step away from the practicing and avoid overthinking it.
- Do your homework. Sure, it’s the recruiter or hiring manager’s job to review your resume before your meeting, but if you’re not prepared when they ask you questions you weren’t expecting, you can stumble over your own experience. You should also spend some time reviewing the job description, the company website, and their LinkedIn presence. Their blog can give you some additional insight as well.
- Take notes and bring them. It’s completely okay for you to bring notes or other visual aids and tools with you to the interview. There may be things you want to share that they don’t ask about. It will also demonstrate to them that you come prepared and pay attention to small details. You can also make notes during the interview, but don’t let it become a distraction. If the interviewer says something key, but you don’t want to interrupt, jot it down so you can come back to it later.
- Follow Up. Relax, don’t stress about the things you forgot to say. You still have a chance to share this information with the recruiter or hiring manager. As soon as you get home, write a Thank You note. For the most efficient response, send an email. Recap your interview, reiterate your interest, and include those things you wish you had mentioned. This will demonstrate your excitement and make them remember you.