Interview Pep Talk: Calming Measures

So we all have occasions where our anxiety can get the better of us: and a job interview is the epitomical example of one of those occasions.

When we feel an awful lot of pressure, sometimes it’s hard to know how to compose oneself, and know exactly what to do with the energy that comes with the ‘fight or flight’ mode which kicks in with anxiety.

Well… as we all know, that ‘fight or flight’ response our brain automates into, is an illogical survival mechanism in the world of business, because, unless a grizzly bear has just been let loose from a nearby zoo, and is about to enter the building, you don’t need to fight or take flight…

You need to use your brain, of course! And unfortunately when we head into this mode, our blood actually flows away from the brain ‘and our cognitive functions can suffer’ as a result.

Here are some tips:

1. Focus on your breathing before the interview:

The regularity, and the motion of your chest as you inhale and exhale. This will help keep you in the present moment whilst bringing oxygen to the brain which will help your cognitive function.

Of course, it may be a little irregular if you’re feeling nervous, so don’t force really deep breaths, but breath as deeply as is comfortable, letting your breath flow gently – in through your nose and out through your mouth.

2. Do not put the job on a pedestal

What I mean here, is to not put the job above yourself. Know that you can do the job, and that you have all of the capabilities to succeed and thrive in that area: and that the employer will be lucky to have you!

3. Imagine yourself succeeding

And really feel it! “Before you go in start visualising a successful interview: imagine how you walk to the room, shake the interviewer’s hands and answer the questions with confidence,” says Margaret Buj, interview coach and author of Land That Job! Imagining a successful interview will help put you at ease, calming the nerves, and helping you to see that it’s very possible that you’ll get the job.

4. Be nice to yourself

Think of yourself in a very positive light, know your self-worth, and do not take any critical thoughts seriously – brush them off. The interviewer is not interested in your self-criticism, they are interested in the great qualities you have to offer!

5. Befriend your anxiety

Accept that you feel nervous and greet your anxiety like an old friend. Everyone gets at least a little nervous for interviews so accept that this is a normal feeling which likes to accompany you before certain events: and it’s all part of the preparation. This’ll help to curb the rise of conflict in your mind, which spiritual leader, writer, and public speaker Eckhart Tolle says is part of the cause of anxiety.

So, perhaps you’re in the car, on the train, or on the tube on your way to your destination: these are all good things to do if you’re feeling the nerves before you go in there and give it your best shot.

Go get ‘em.