You prepare, you practice, you are the perfect fit, but what if you let your nerves get the best of you? You want to muster everything inside of you to be calm, so why is that you feel like your sweating, your heart is racing and that you have forgotten the smallest things you wanted to bring to the table to make an amazing impression? This happens to the best of us EVERY day! There are also small hacks to make sure you put your nerves aside and are able to remain calm, cool, and collected even when the stakes are high. After all this is your future, possibly your dream job and you don’t want to lose this opportunity because you didn’t slay the interview.
Look I know the feeling. I have had my fair share of interviews. I have not gotten the job many times, and I guarantee you it wasn’t because I wasn’t a great applicant. It was because my nerves got the best of me, I fumbled the questions, and my answers didn’t make sense. I can live with someone being a better fit. I can’t live not getting the job because I was the worst version of myself when it mattered!
How do you get prepared so you can show up and present your best self. Let me tell you the 5 tricks, hacks if you will, that I still use to show up Calm, Cool and Collected and shine when you need to present yourself in an interview or other high-pressure situation.
1. Be prepared. This should go without saying, but very few people can go off the cuff. I am sure you all have that friend who is charming who seemingly can show up and impress without trying. That isn’t me, and likely isn’t you. The rest of us have to prepare. Do your research, make notes, make a script, practice, and roll play. Do all of these. If this is your first or not, there is nothing that will make up for being prepared. Notes and bullet points will keep you on track and keep the main points on the forefront. Practice and roll play with someone that can give feedback. Even play with recording yourself. So many times we think something sounds great or funny and it actually isn’t or the opposite. Even the most amazing speakers that get on stage have practiced and prepared over and over and over. Make it look effortless by doing it repeatedly till it is easy.
2. Know your audience. It is important to know who you are speaking to or going to be in front of. If it is job interview you want to be well educated on the company and the people that will be interviewing you. SMILE!! Seriously smiling helps us to connect and when you connect to those who are interviewing you will feel more at ease as well as engage them. Caring handshake if practiced! (If you haven’t practiced this handshake you may make this awkward rather than engaging, so only use if you feel comfortable.) A caring handshake is when you use one had to shake and then use your other hand to embrace the hand warmly, while saying their name and that you are very happy to meet them. It will typically last longer than a normal handshake.
3. Bring Materials and Confirm Details. Bring copies of your resume, cover letter, and anything else that might help show that you are prepared and ready. Bring a few extra copies if there is more than one person interviewing. Confirm you appointment before and send thank you letter/email after appreciating their time considering you as an applicant. You may also follow up on what the next step is, will they be following up to let you know if you will be considered for another interview? Clarify details if needed.
4. Breathe. My personal favorite. What happens when we are going to be in an interview, is that our nerves get the best of us. A simple breathing technique can get you back in control over your nervous system. Practice this daily as your interview approaches so it is simple for you. This can be done before you enter the building or turn on the zoom, but you can practice while you are waiting. What you are going to do is simple. You will breathe in lightly, down into your naval and at a specific count of 5-6 seconds as you breathe in and 5-6 seconds as you breathe out. (I use this all the time. Even when I am in a crowded room before I am about to speak.) The key is just gentle breathing through the nose. This will immediately calm you so you can think and be present.
5. Visualize and Meditate. This is best used leading up to the day of your interview. While you are preparing and getting ready you need to begin to see the interview being flawless and flowing. You need to see yourself confident and strong and being at ease as you answer questions and show your qualities. If you find yourself fearing something going wrong, I want you to ask yourself is that a fear or is there a reason to feel it won’t go well? Usually, fears are unfounded when we explore them, so refocus on your qualities and go back to seeing it go well. Meditate daily seeing the perfect job, the perfect interview, the perfect situation for you, your skills and having the perfect culture. Your body knows little difference in reality and our imagination. When you imagine and visualize the best-case scenario over and over you begin to build more confidence and begin to create that reality and your body becomes more comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Use your imagination to play!
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