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Put a Stop to Job Interview Jitters

January 5, 2015 | Career Blog

Whether it’s your first job interview or your 15th, you can’t help but feel nervous. Despite being prepared, dressed appropriately and feeling confident in your qualifications, there’s just something about selling yourself that brings out the butterflies.

An article from points out that 92% of U.S. adults are anxious about job interviews. And we’re betting the other 8% are just too embarrassed to admit it. Anxiety during an interview is understandable. Recent high school or college graduates may feel they don’t have enough experience. Someone who has been out of work for a period of time has a lot riding on the interview. And the parent who took time off to stay at home with the kids may feel out of touch with the current job market.

It’s easy to see why folks are sweating through their suits.

Here are few ways you can help calm your nerves and ace the interview:

  1. Practice: Ask your spouse, friend or a family member to do a mock interview with you. They can ask about your experience, qualifications and why you’d be a good fit for the position. This way you’ll have some answers prepared and committed to memory. You don’t want fumble for responses to basic interview questions when the interview time comes.
  2. Be a morning person: If possible, schedule the interview for the morning. This way you can get it over quickly and you won’t spend the entire day stressing.
  3. Early bird: Arrive at least 10 minutes early to the interview. This means giving yourself plenty of extra travel time. You’ll be even more stressed if you’re running late or encounter a traffic snarl. Plus, it’s great to have a couple of minutes to sit in your car, take a deep breath and give yourself a little pep talk before heading into the interview.
  4. Pause: When asked a question, it’s OK to take a few seconds to collect your thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a second to answer intelligently versus saying the first thing that comes to mind.
  5. Relax: During the interview, find a comfortable and relaxed seating position. Don’t fidget or touch your hands and face – obvious signs you’re nervous. Toss a small bottle of water in your bag and take a sip before the interview to combat dry mouth.

In many ways a job interview is simply a conversation, an effort by two people to get know each other. If you look at it from that perspective, you’ll feel less intimated and nervous.

And if you blunder at some point or trip over your words, don’t worry. Remember the person doing the interview was probably at some point the interviewee so can empathize with job interview anxiety. Leave the interview with your head held high and an air of confidence – that final impression can combat any nervous tongue-tripping during the interview.

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