Ever have trouble sleeping the night before an interview? Ever go to shake someone’s hand and your palm is sweaty and your heart rate is raised? It's never easy going into a situation where you don't know what to expect. If you find yourself crippled by anxiety at the thought of your big interview approaching, there are several steps you can take to banish your anxiety and ace your interview!
Anxiety is your bodies natural response to reacting to a state of worry or apprehension. Our bodies elicit feelings of anxiousness when we are challenged or demanded to showcase our talents, when we may be trying something new, or even anticipating good or bad news. Some anxiety may be indicative that you are emotionally and physically invested in what you are aiming to accomplish, and this is perfectly normal.
First and foremost, understand your goals and what you are aiming to achieve in interviewing. Review the job description of the occupation you have applied for and see yourself in that role. It’s important to unite your goals with that of the position and make sure they are fully aligned and relatable. Understand the daily duties and long term goals of the position. Evaluate certain qualifications and certifications you possess and how these achievements can be applied to exceed the organization's goals.
Research the history of the organization you have applied to. This can make or break your interview. Be knowledgeable of when the company was founded, what their mission statement is, and whether or not you hold the same core values as the company. As a heads up, be prepared for the infamous “Why do you want to work for us?” inquiry.
Formulate a list of questions you anticipate the interviewer(s) may ask. If you know the job you have applied for is within the child developmental field, for example, you may decide to write out a few questions that utilize deep thinking methods such as STAR and BAR method questions. Practice these questions out loud. It would even be ideal to schedule a mock interview to familiarize yourself with some of your questions, and those of a stranger.
Write out a list of questions for your employer. Replace that awkward silence with questions you may have for your future employer. Inquire about work ethic, a typical workday, and opportunities for career advancement. Not only does this show you care about the company you are working for, but it shows your ability to spark conversation on issues that are essential to you and your future.
Get plenty of rest for your big day. Don’t underestimate what a solid eight hours of sleep can do for your brain. Mentally and physically prepare yourself for success by getting adequate rest and hydration the day before your interview.
Motivate yourself. The day of the interview should be full of positive affirmations. You should envision yourself not only getting the job, but acing the interview and delivering your answers eloquently. If it helps, you can develop a mantra that exudes self-confidence. For example, “I am capable.” or “I will do my best no matter what.”
Lastly, remember it is okay to be excited for the opportunity to interview! Aim to replace the word “anxious” with the word “excited”; it makes all the difference. For example, rather than enter the conference room and exclaim, “I apologize if I am stumbling over my words, I am just so anxious.”, this may have an adverse effect on your interview. FYI: You should not be anxious, if you feel you are qualified for the position. Try stating “ I apologize if I am stumbling over my words, I am just so excited for this opportunity to interview!” Not only does this offer a disclaimer for your jumbled answers, but it shows the employer that you truly care to be there!