You’ve finally landed a job interview, and at a place you’d actually like to work: good for you! Now you can rest and relax and start planning on how you will pay your bills. Oh, but there is the business of being interviewed and actually getting the job. Now you’re worried, and nervous. What if they don’t like you? What if they interview more qualified candidates?
What is certain is that poise and confidence will make your first impression impressive. So how to have that poise and confidence? How to nerve yourself to be cheerful and chipper? Plan it out.
First of all, learn how to meditate, and don’t wait till the interview to try: start today. “Meditation” is a blanket term referring to various mental exercises, some of which are quite involved, but others which can within two minutes calm your mind. Take a moment to explore a few and find one that works well for you. A simple start is to focus on your breath. Take a few breaths, breathing with your diaphragm. Focus only on your breath, and if your mind slips to any other subject, gently return it to your breath. That is called “mindfulness meditation.” It can relax you quickly. Be sure to try this out in advance and find a meditation device you like. After all, you don’t want to be anxious about if you are doing the meditation right – that would defeat the purpose.
They say the combination of tryptophan, potassium, and beta-blockers found in bananas can sooth your nerves. Having that extra eating ritual could help, and the extra bit of sugar in your system will make your brain alert.
Regular exercise is a sort of panacea that offers a multitude of benefits. One of them is relaxed nerves. Another is confidence. Even if you don’t exercise regularly – a lot of us wish we did but don’t – at least do a mild cardio the morning before the interview. The exercise will boost your endorphins and your testosterone: both useful for having cheerful confidence.
Whether you envision screwing up or succeeding, you are probably right. These daydreams prepare the mind for action. So take the time to envision a confident and successful interview. Merely by imagining it in detail, your mind will be prepped to execute the plan. If you need help imagining success, think back to a time you were confident.
- Power Posing
Amy Cuddy, a professor at Harvard Business School, claims that holding a power pose for two minutes will raise your testosterone and otherwise put you in a calm confident mindset. Look up a few power poses and try one out before the interview.
Simply smiling makes you happy. Force yourself. Just holding a smile at length will raise your mood. Also, force yourself to laugh a bit. The mind adapts to what the body is doing, so look in the mirror before your interview and smile at yourself for a while.
Review interview questions in advance, and if your friends will do it, have them pretend to interview you. That way, you won’t be thrown off by a surprise question, but will have a ready set of answers for whatever they throw at you. This is why it is a good idea to let yourself be interviewed even for jobs you know you won’t take. Getting comfortable being interviewed is worth it, you will be used to the trial of being interrogated, and will have that poise necessary to make a strong first impression. Another good idea is to write out responses to common interview questions and then to read them out loud.7 Methods for Inspiring Confidence Before an Interview by Daniel June