When you are tense and anxious, you will make mistakes. Lots of them. That's why it is essential to calm yourself down before an interview, especially if it has been a while since you have taken one.
This article lists 10 tips for how to relax before an interview that can help you feel calm and confident at your next meeting.
1) Try to stay calm on the way to the interview.
Don't speed there. Don't circle the block. Don't let your imagination stalk you with every possible "what if" scenario. Breathe deeply and relax your body as you make your way there, focusing on positive thoughts like how good it will feel to get this job.
2) Get enough sleep before your interview.
If you are rested, you'll be calmer and more alert, which will make it easier to concentrate during the interview and perform at is best.
3) Eat a healthy breakfast.
Grab a healthy breakfast – high protein, low sugar – at least an hour before your interview so you can relax and take your mind off your stomach. You don't want a rumbling belly to distract you from the task at hand.
4) Don't change clothes more than once before your interview.
Save time for one or two outfit changes after the interview, but don't psych yourself out by changing into multiple outfits before you go in. Your brain needs to focus on the interview, not on whether or not you look perfect in your outfit.
5) Write down your answers to common questions.
It is always better if you can answer the common interview questions off the top of your head, but there are instances where it makes sense to write down your answers beforehand.
This way, you won't be tempted to scramble for answers when the interviewer asks you what you know about their company or who else they might be interviewing.
6) Show up early enough for a few minutes of alone time before the actual interview starts.
Take some quiet time in the bathroom to collect yourself after yet another traffic jam or flight delay or train breakdown. You can use that alone time to visualize yourself succeeding in the interview and feel relaxed and calm about it before you walk into it.
7) Read your prepared answers to possible interview questions twice before the interview.
Read out loud to yourself what you have written, making any necessary changes in your wording or flow. Then, read them a second time after you have memorized the answers in your head.
This way, when you are in the actual interview, you won't be tempted to start reading from a piece of paper or from your head because it is easier than remembering which points to mention and where to put them in the conversation.
8) Listen to calming music before going into your interview.
There is something about the cadence and the melody and the lyrics of certain calming songs that makes them an effective tool for calming yourself down. Pick a tune that has a relaxing rhythm and sing it to yourself as you get ready for your interview. It will put you into a calmer state of mind.
9) Spend time preparing possible questions to ask at the end of the interview.
You are never supposed to ask too many questions, but it is always good to come prepared with at least one question that demonstrates your interest in the company.
10) If you start to feel yourself tensing up, relax your posture and breathe deeply.
Speak to yourself in a soft voice and repeat calming reminders that you can do this. Slow down your movements and concentrate on good thoughts and positive images. If all else fails, just excuse yourself to go to the bathroom and take a few minutes alone to regain your cool before you walk back into the interview room.
The more you prepare for an interview in advance, the calmer you will feel when it comes time to be interviewed. Take the time to do all of these things in preparation for your next interview before you leave home so there is nothing else to worry about on the day of your next meeting.