A certain amount of stress is desirable before an interview; the adrenalin can provide stimulation and energy that will help you think quickly and respond intelligently.
However, stress symptoms such as sweaty palms, a shaky voice, and the fear that your mind may go blank can rapidly steal your confidence. There are certain pre-interview techniques that can help to alleviate the more unpleasant physiological fear responses.
It helps to be fully prepared, to dress appropriately, to have researched the company, and to have rehearsed responses to typical interview questions. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so that you do not have to rush. Amy Cuddy, a psychologist from Harvard Business School who has studied stress responses, recommends the following calming techniques before an interview:
- Turn your phone off.
There is nothing worse than fumbling with your phone and realizing that you should have had the foresight to have turned it off.
- Find a bathroom and strike a strong pose.
Adopting a powerful stance for two or three minutes causes levels of the stress hormone cortisol to drop.
- Repeat a positive mantra.
Repeating a positive statement such as “This is the job that I can succeed in” can have a similar physiological effect and reduce cortisol production by 50 percent and lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Focus on Achievements.
Focusing on achievements in your life and the people who have believed and supported you will help you relax your mind and minimize stress. Read over comments that people have written about you to boost your psychological confidence and mentally rehearse positive responses with respect to your skills and abilities.
Remember that the majority of interviewees are nervous before an interview and, often, so are the interviewers themselves. Be confident that you have prepared to the best of your ability. Imagine that you are having a mutual discussion regarding a work project. Try to evaluate the interviewers during the interview; after all, you are considering their suitability as a prospective employer as much as they are considering you.
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