Saturday, January 26, 2013

Five Secrets to Staying Calm During the Interview Process

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The big interview day can be a very stressful experience, especially if it is for that big job you've always wanted. The following five proven steps to help you keep your cool before, during, and after the interview process are to prepare ahead, practice positive affirmations, engage in controlled breathing, dress to impress, and lastly use effective follow-ups. These all work together to help keep you calm and increase your chances of success.

Alright, so you received that all important call from that company you've dreamed of working for. Many job seekers suffer from interview anxiety, this may hinder many very qualified individuals from landing the positions because they let their anxiety take over and hinder their ability to perform at their optimal level. By following these key secrets when going into an interview you will dramatically increase your confidence, lower your anxiety, and stay calm during the whole process.

Once the interview date has been determined, the first and most important step is to prepare ahead of time for the big day. Keeping organized and prepared cuts through anxiety like a hot knife through butter. Organization helps the mind stay focused on the important tasks rather than last-minute preparations. The organization process should include re-reading your resume and job position qualifications. Keep your qualification in the back of your mind and use your experience within the interview process to show the employer how your experiences is relevant to the position being sought. Organization also includes getting your references in order, summarizing your relevant skills with position sought, preparing supporting data, scanning copies of supporting documentation, etc. There are many important things that must be done before the interview and by doing everything early and ahead of time it serves to help lower the last-minute stress with interviews.

So now that you are organization, the next step to keeping your cool during the interview process is positive affirmations. The simple act of constant positive repetitions is one of the easiest and most effective methods of motivation and staying calm. Re-affirming to yourself that you are qualified, that you will land the position, that you are calm, etc. helps to work wonders in keeping you focused on positive thoughts rather than negative self-defeating thoughts. Examples of positive affirmations before a job interview include "I will get the job," or "I am the best candidate they have." By repeating such positive self affirmations will help your mind search through your past experience and justify these statements and keeping your anxiety in check.
Despite organization and positive affirmations, it is still normal to experience your heart and mind beginning to race. At this moment, it is important to remember the third step in keeping calm and to watch your breathing. The key to keeping calm is practicing deep, long, and relaxed breaths. The number to stick with are 10 long and deep breaths then holding it for 5-10 seconds then releasing with a long deep exhale. Doing this ten times right before an interview helps those who jitter, stutter, or have performance anxiety keep their nerves at bay.

Dressing to impress is just as important as the qualifications you have listed on your resume. You must give the employer absolutely no reason to have any doubts about your fit for the position. Coming into the interview with a baggy shirt, hat, and jeans might cause the interviewer to see you as someone who doesn't want to be there, if so you would have put more effort in wearing the proper attire. This may cause you to get nervous noticing the employer judging you, therefore wearing something professional, formal, and crisp ensures the employer has a positive image of you after the during and after the interview. Most importantly, the saying the "clothes make the man" fits perfectly here because wearing the proper attire help build your confidence, keep you calm, and reduce your anxiety.

Finally, after the dust settles many spend the days or weeks after stressing about that follow-up phone call. An effective way to address this is by ensuring that after the interview you send a thank you letter to the interview for giving you a chance to be interviewed. Prior to an interview about to close it is prudent to ask for the decision process details, this will allow you to gauge the length of time prior to a decision. Lastly keep prospecting, always be on the prowl for opportunities to find employment even after a successful interview. Having a competing offer works wonders during negotiations and will definitely give you greater confidence and keep you calm.

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