The first face-to-face interview is the most nerve-wracking process of any job hunt. You’ve prepared and are confident that you’re right for the role, but suddenly, as the minutes tick down you’re getting more and more anxious. There are things you can do to help though, even if it’s just a few minutes before, to ease the pressure and give yourself the best possible chance.
The S-T-O-P Method
A mental trick to help with a variety of situations, not just interviews.
- Stop what you’re doing and focus on your thoughts.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Observe what’s going on in your body, emotions, and mind, and why you’re feeling them.
- Proceed with an intention to incorporate what you observed in your actions.
This is simply promoting the idea of taking a step back. Instead of letting your nerves be the only thing you can focus on, try to think what aspect of the interview is causing them; and what you can do to reduce your nerves.
It’s not a Test
Interviews are not an exam, you are not expected to remember everything about your career and recall it when asked. Take everything you need with you on a ‘cheat sheet’. Have a list of your biggest accomplishments, the names of the interview panel, the questions you’d like to ask at the end. The fear of forgetting something will be removed, allowing you to focus on what you want to say.
Make a Plan for After
Give yourself something to look forward to after it’s all done, so you can focus on this instead of the nerves. Go for a meal, some retail therapy, see a movie, anything to reward yourself for putting in the effort and plucking up the courage to go.
Body language is really important in interviews. Studies have even shown that having your hands in sight, rather than below the desk, makes you seem more honest and approachable. Make eye contact with the interviewer, and sit up in your chair. These are a couple of easy things to practice that naturally give you a more confident posture.
Believe in yourself!
There is a reason your application has made it this far, the employers like your CV and if you’ve had a phone interview before, you impressed them at that stage as well! Think positive and tell yourself that you’re good enough for the role.
If you have an interview coming up, we wish you the best of luck.