Getting ready for an interview can be very stressful and the thought of the interview itself can bring anxiety into the calmest of minds. Being a little nervous is perfectly normal, but, taken to the extreme, this psychological reaction will lower productivity levels and hinder you from answering the interviewer’s questions. To make sure you do your best and show that you are the ideal candidate, here are a few tricks that you can use before and during the interview to overcome anxiety.

Before the interview, you should do as much research as possible and look into the company profile and the person who will be interviewing you. Also, have a look at a list of the most common interview questions and prepare answers for them. Know where you are going and remember why you applied for the job and why you are a better candidate than others. This is will help you feel more assertive and you are less likely to lose control of the situation.  Dress appropriately for the interview. Choose an outfit that makes you feel confident and professional, but don’t go over the top, because you’ll feel more uncomfortable. It goes without saying that you should get as much sleep as possible the night before the interview, because being well rested increases productivity and relaxation. For a boost of energy, you can go for a walk or do some light exercises a few hours before.

Once you have learned a few things about the company and the position you are applying for, it’s time to go to the interview. You might still feel a bit tense, but try to relax and avoid panicking. Take deep breaths and act confidently. Give the interviewer a firm handshake and try not to answer questions right away. Rushing will only accentuate nervousness, so take a few seconds to understand the question and think of the right answer. Last, but least, remember that the interviewer(s) standing behind the desk are people just like you and they may be equally anxious to find someone for the job.

For even more tips and tricks on overcoming interview nerves, you can read Fearless Job Interview, by Gerry O’Sullivan.

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